Recently I have encountered the term Discriminant hotelling. And I have no idea what this term means. All I know is that this is in context with multivariable data analysis. I tried googling but in vain. So can someone explain to me what this term means?

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    $\begingroup$ Hotelling is the name of a statistician and goes with capital latter. Discriminant must be referring to "discriminant function analysis" and goes with lower-case. But what does Discriminant hotelling mean - I don't know, sorry. Do you mean hotelling as derivative from "hotel": short-term provision of office space to a temporary worker?, and speaking really of abuses of discriminatory hoteling? $\endgroup$
    – ttnphns
    Oct 11, 2016 at 8:34
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    $\begingroup$ No no, it has nothing to do with hotels.. :). .its totally a statistical term.. $\endgroup$ Oct 11, 2016 at 8:34
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    $\begingroup$ Hotelling's T test is a multivariate test analoguos to univariate Student's t-test and based on the above eigenvalues. $\endgroup$
    – ttnphns
    Oct 11, 2016 at 9:39
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    $\begingroup$ The phrase does appear in Google searches with a slash, as in Discriminant/Hotelling--and in a few instances even without the slash. A pattern emerges upon examining these instances: they tend to be in obscure badly-formatted journals (meaning editing was poor or nonexistent), written in English by non-English speakers. A reasonable hypothesis is that "Hotelling's Discriminant" test was intended. $\endgroup$
    – whuber
    Feb 28, 2017 at 20:00
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    $\begingroup$ Without a precise reference the value of this question is limited. $\endgroup$
    – Nick Cox
    Mar 1, 2017 at 10:29

1 Answer 1


Discriminant hotelling or discriminant/hotelling is somewhat ambiguous (@amoeba) and seems to be poor word choice (@whuber). An example of that usage appears here. The context in that paper is the Hotelling's T-squared distribution, together with Discriminant function analysis.

Hotelling's t-squared statistic is a generalization of Student's t statistic that is used in multivariate hypothesis testing. The overlap with discriminant analysis is hinted at in the presentation of Mahalanobis distance, which is closely related to Hotelling's T-square distribution used for multivariate statistical testing and Fisher's Linear Discriminant Analysis that is used for supervised classification.

Discriminant analysis and Hotelling's T$^2$: Beware: The combination of discriminant analysis and Hotelling's T$^2$ test is sometimes misused. One should not be surprised to find a statistically significant difference between two samples which have been chosen with the objective of maximizing distance in the first place! The division into two groups should ideally be based on independent evidence. Indeed, in the cited paper above, the classification was properly taken a priori.

  • $\begingroup$ @amoeba Even if that is the answer to the OP question, that answer could be problematic, as above. $\endgroup$
    – Carl
    Feb 28, 2017 at 21:51

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