Agglomerative clustering using cosine and Jaccard distances: a computational approach to Roman vessel taxonomy

Collins-Elliott, S.A. (2016) Agglomerative clustering using cosine and Jaccard distances: a computational approach to Roman vessel taxonomy. Archeologia e Calcolatori, 27. pp. 7-25. ISSN 1120-6861

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This paper addresses the issue of standardization in the cross-comparability of different vessel assemblages. It presents a computational method for building vessel categories from the bottom up, by comparing the specified attributes of a collection of vessel-types, and grouping like with like. Thus, it provides a platform for translating vessel data which may have been classified or divided by type using one taxonomy, bringing them into communication with those categorized by another. Two different methods of measuring the similarity among vessel-types (cosine similarity and the Jaccard index) are explored, toward providing a control on the resulting ‘synthetic’ categories. An exploratory dataset, collected from published data of archaeological projects in Italy focusing on ceramic vessels of the last two centuries BCE, was used to test the performance of this approach. Project data and results are open source and are available online at

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Statistics; classification of archaeological finds
Subjects: 900 Storia, Geografia e discipline ausiliarie > 930 Storia dei mondo antico fino al 499 ca. > 930.1 Archeologia (Classificare qui la Storia fino al 4000 a.C., l'Archeologia preistorica, le opere interdisciplinari sull'Archeologia) > 930.102 Archeologia - Opere miscellanee > 930.1028 Archeologia – Tecniche, metodologie, apparecchi e strumenti (comprende: Archeometria) > 930.10285 Archeologia – Applicazioni informatiche (comprende: tecniche di datazione)
Depositing User: Dott.ssa Paola Moscati
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2017 17:22
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2017 17:22

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