Bias plays an important role in factor analysis and is often implicitly made use of, for example, to constrain solutions to factors that conform to physical reality. However, when components are collinear, a large range of solutions may exist that satisfy the basic constraints and fit the data equally well. In such cases, the introduction of mathematical bias through the application of constraints may select solutions that are less than optimal. The biased alternating least squares algorithm of the present invention can offset mathematical bias introduced by constraints in the standard alternating least squares analysis to achieve factor solutions that are most consistent with physical reality. In addition, these methods can be used to explicitly exploit bias to provide alternative views and provide additional insights into spectral data sets.

STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST
This invention was made with Government support under contract no. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Sandia Corporation. The Government has certain rights in the invention.