Comparison of fuzzy clustering methods in economic freedom ranking in Asia-Pacific
Economic freedom can be defined as freedom in which individuals can perform their economic activities freely without being exposed to the pressures and constraints. The aim of the studies on the classification of countries according to their economic freedoms is to determine the place of the countries in the world or in the continent where they are located. In this way, the status of the countries with sustainable growth and high welfare is determined. In this study, it is aimed to rank Asian countries according to economic freedom data. In contrast to many classifications and sorting studies, the present study attempts to determine the best sorting method by comparing multiple methods. As a result of the economic freedoms published by the Heritage Foundation every year, the conditions of Asian countries between 2015-2019 were determined. Fuzzy C-Means, Gath-Geva and Gustafson-Kessel methods, which are the three most commonly used methods, were used in the fuzzy clustering analysis. The results obtained from all fuzzy clustering methods were compared and interpreted with the results of the Heritage Foundation year by year. According to all analysis results, it can be said that the Fuzzy C-means method is more successful for Economic Freedom data and classification studies. According to the Fuzzy C-Means method, the three best Asian countries were Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia respectively
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