T-61.271 Visualization project description
21. Comparing PCA, ICA, MDS, and SOM

Autumn 2004

Read the project description carefully. Questions and comments can be sent to

General information

The purpose of the project work is to get hands on experience and deeper understanding on one specific area of the course. At the same time you will be forced to think on some of the more general issues that are confronted every time a visualization method is developed or used.

To complete the project you will probably need information that has not been discussed on the lectures or in the exercises. Most of the time relevant information can be easily found on the web, course books or in some cases references to articles will be given. If you have problems finding information on the subject please contact the lecturer or the assistant for hints and guidance.

The project work will be valid for one year after the original deadline.

General requirements

specific requirements

The goal of this project is to analyze the differences PCA, ICA, MDS, and SOM on a suitable data set.

To pass the following should be done

  1. The data set should be projected with at least three of the methods.
  2. Analyze the results. What kind of features the different methods produced? Which kind of features are not preserved?
  3. Are there any clusters in the data? If yes, how can you describe them?
  4. Are there meaningful directions on the visualization (2D-projection)?
  5. How do the results between the different methods differ. What are the pros and cons of the methods in this case. For what kinds of data and tasks the methods are best suited?

The report should describe the analyzes that you have made, the results and your thoughts on the methods uses.

Submitting the project work

The project work should be submitted by email to:


Tapani Raiko 2004-12-21