Feature analysis?

Alan Davis adavis at NETPCI.COM
Sun May 31 13:00:03 CDT 1998

I am sorry to bother this list about a problem that is not taxanomical.  I
do so in hope that some taxonomist will be familiar with feature analysis,
and be able to point me to some specific sources of information.  I am
trying to gauge similarity or difference, using a matrix of features.  I
know the feature matrix is used in linguistics, and I think also in
numerical taxonomy, but I'm not sure.  I don't nave much literature
available to me.

I collected some data on a tropical sponge, Adocia turquoisia,  that
undergoes changes between two morphs, seasonally.  The changes are obvious,
but in order to quantify these changes, at least somewhat, I used a feature
matrix to take note of about 25 different specific "features" that seemed to
change in concert.  For most features, the character was not simply on or
off, but involved a gradation between two extremes, the endpoints of the
putative morphological change.  Some of the features are marked as either +
or -, and most of the others can be reduced to such discrete forms, with a
little fudging.

Where would I look for examples or suggestions for the use of such data?  I
am trying to reduce the data to some kind of graphic portrait of seasonal


Alan E. Davis                       Marianas High School (Science Department)
AAA196, Box 10001    adavis at netpci.com   http://www.saipan.netpci.com/~adavis
Saipan, MP  96950    15.16oN 145.7oE    GMT+10       Northern Mariana Islands

More information about the Taxacom mailing list