A combinatorial optimization based sample identification method for group comparisons

Document Type



Researchers often face having to reconcile their sample selection method of survey with the costs of collecting the actual sample. An appropriate justification of a sampling strategy is central to ensuring valid, reliable, and generalizable research results. This paper presents a combinatorial optimization method for identification of sample locations. Such an approach is viable when researchers need to identify sites from which to draw a nonprobability sample when the research objective is for comparative purposes. Findings indicate that using a combinatorial optimization method minimizes the population variation assumptions based upon predetermined demographic variables within the context of the research interest. When identifying the location from which to draw a nonprobability sample, an important requirement is to draw from the most homogeneous populations as possible to control for extraneous factors. In comparison to a standard convenience sample with no identified location strategy, results indicate that the proposed combinatorial optimization method minimizes population variability and thus decreases the cost of sample collection.


Nonprobability samples; Sample identification; Sample location identification; Sample selection; Sample location identification


Electrical and Computer Engineering | Engineering | Systems and Communications


Use Find in Your Library, contact the author, or interlibrary loan to garner a copy of the item. Publisher policy does not allow archiving the final published version. If a post-print (author's peer-reviewed manuscript) is allowed and available, or publisher policy changes, the item will be deposited.

UNLV article access

Search your library