Compositional data and Simpson's paradox

Simpson's paradox, also known as amalgamation or aggregation paradox, appears when dealing with proportions. Proportions are by construction parts of a whole, which can be interpreted as compositions assuming they only carry relative information. The Aitchison inner product space structure of the simplex, the sample space of compositions, explains the appearance of the paradox, given that amalgamation is a nonlinear operation within that structure. Here we propose to use balances, which are specific elements of this structure, to analyse situations where the paradox might appear. With the proposed approach we obtain that the centre of the tables analysed is a natural way to compare them, which avoids by construction the possibility of a paradox. Key words: Aitchison geometry, geometric mean, orthogonal projection ​
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