I have data on a $M$ systems (say different material alloys). Each system (material) has $N$ variables (properties). I would like to correlate one variable(say material strength) of the system with a small sub-set of the variables $N_S$ (such as composition, crystal-structure etc.).
I'm not sure which analysis is more appropriate for this scenario. Do I need to use
- factor analysis -- which I believe treats all variables as dependent variables or
- multiple regression -- which treats one variable as dependent and others as independent variable.
Just to clarify, the variable values are not continuous i.e., for given value/range of variables, a system/systems may or may not exist.