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A Longitudinal Nonparametric Classification Method for Assessing Change in Latent Attributes Over Time
This study proposed a longitudinal Hamming distance discrimination (Long-HDD) method to improve the application of longitudinal cognitive diagnosis in practical teaching by introducing a simple computation and less time-consuming nonparametric classification method—HDD—into longitudinal diagnostic data processing. Compared with the HDD, the proposed method represents correlation or dependence between adjacent time points of the same student using Hamming distance in anticipation of using information from the previous time point to improve the classification accuracy at the current time point. A simulation study was conducted to explore the performance of the proposed method in longitudinal diagnostic data analysis and to compare the performance of the proposed method with the HDD and a parametric longitudinal diagnostic classification model. The findings suggest that (1) the Long-HDD can provide high classification accuracy in longitudinal diagnostic data analysis; (2) compared with the parametric model, the Long-HDD is almost unaffected by sample size and performs better than the parametric model in small sample sizes; and (3) the Long-HDD consumes much less computing time than the parametric model. Overall, the Long-HDD is well suited to analyzing longitudinal diagnostic data and can provide speedy diagnostic feedback due to its convenient computation, which is especially significant in small-scale assessments at the classroom and school levels.