Re: [R] Difference between prcomp and cmdscale

From: Sarah Goslee <>
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2007 08:59:37 -0400

On 6/14/07, michael watson (IAH-C) <> wrote:

> ... I failed to find articles that compare and contrast PCA
> and MDS. If you know of any, of course I would be happy to read them.

There's an excellent non-R discussion of a wide range of ordination methods at (Mike Palmer's work).

If you look under "distance-based ordination" (like MDS/PCO), you find:
"Special case: for Euclidean distance, PCoA = PCA."

and much other useful information. He also gives an extensive list of references from the literature, if you'd like something more rigorous. For an overview text, I'm partial to _Numerical Ecology_ by Legendre and Legendre (1998) because of its readability, but there are many more good texts.


Sarah Goslee

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