Similar to the two-group linear discriminant analysis for classification case, LDA for classification into several groups seeks to find the mean vector that the new observation \(y\) is closest to and assign \(y\) accordingly using a distance function. The several group case also assumes equal covariance matrices amongst the groups (\(\Sigma_1 = \Sigma_2 = \cdots = \Sigma_k\)).

## Linear Discriminant Analysis for the Classification of Two Groups

In this post, we will use the discriminant functions found in the first post to classify the observations. We will also employ cross-validation on the predicted groups to get a realistic sense of how the model would perform in practice on new observations. Linear classification analysis assumes the populations have equal covariance matrices (\(\Sigma_1 = \Sigma_2\)) but does not assume the data are normally distributed.

## Discriminant Analysis for Group Separation

Discriminant analysis assumes the two samples or populations being compared have the same covariance matrix \(\Sigma\) but distinct mean vectors \(\mu_1\) and \(\mu_2\) with \(p\) variables. The discriminant function that maximizes the separation of the groups is the linear combination of the \(p\) variables. The linear combination denoted \(z = a′y\) transforms the observation vectors to a scalar. The discriminant functions thus take the form:

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