We propose an alternative method of conducting exploratory latent class analysis that utilizes latent class factor models, and compare it to the more traditional approach based on latent class cluster models. We show that when formulated in terms of R mutually independent, dichotomous latent factors, the LC factor model has the same number of distinct parameters as an LC cluster model with R+1 clusters. Analyses over several data sets suggest that LC factor models typically fit data better and provide results that are easier to interpret than the corresponding LC cluster models. We also introduce a new graphical bi-plot display for LC factor models and compare it to similar plots used in correspondence analysis and to a barycentric coordinate display for LC cluster models. New results on identification of LC models are also presented. We conclude by describing various model extensions and an approach for eliminating boundary solutions in identified and unidentified LC models, which we have implemented in a new computer program.
|Publication status||Published - 2001|