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Eating disorders are very complicated and many factors play a role in their manifestation. Furthermore, due to the variability in diagnosis and symptoms, treatment for an eating disorder is unique to the individual. As a result, there are numerous assessment tools available, which range from brief survey questionnaires to in-depth interviews conducted by a professional. One of the many benefits to using machine learning is that it offers new insight into datasets that researchers may not previously have, particularly when compared to traditional statistical methods. The aim of this paper was to employ k-means clustering to explore the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire, Clinical Impairment Assessment, and Autism Quotient scores. The goal is to identify prevalent cluster topologies in the data, using the truth data as a means to validate identified groupings. Our results show that a model with k = 2 performs the best and clustered the dataset in the most appropriate way. This matches our truth data group labels, and we calculated our model’s accuracy at 78.125%, so we know that our model is working well. We see that the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q) and Clinical Impairment Assessment (CIA) scores are, in fact, important discriminators of eating disorder behavior.


This article was originally published in Machine Learning and Knowledge Extraction, volume 2, in 2020.


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.