A Segment-ology TIDBIT
It appears to me that the next step for Clusters is “Walking the Clusters Back.”
By this I mean, start with the original Leeds Method, 2nd cousins (2C) and 3C, which tends to result in 4 Clusters – one for each grandparent. Often, particularly with known 2C and 3C, you will be able to determine the grandparent for each Cluster.
Then adjust the shared segment cM threshold to focus on 3C and 4C and try to get 8 Clusters. This may take some fine tuning in the threshold, but if you get plus or minus one or two Clusters, that’s OK – just work around it. Now if you can tell from the Matches who were in the 4 Cluster Matrix who repeat in this nominal 8 Cluster Matrix, you know which two Clusters belong to each of the 4 grandparents. Then, if you can figure out the great grandparent in one of the two Clusters for each grandparent, then the other Cluster should be for the other great grandparent.
Once you do what you can with the 8 great grandparent Clusters, adjust the cM thresholds, and rerun a Cluster Matrix to shoot for 16 Clusters and repeat the process.
This would be Walking the Clusters Back. And, in the long run, it might be more efficient and accurate that trying to start with a small cM threshold and getting a large number of Clusters – 128 to 512 Clusters. As the number of Clusters grows, more and more Matches will be conflicting; and more distant Matches may well share more than one Common Ancestor with you. It just gets more complicated to sort out at the larger Matrix levels. Walking the Clusters Back will make this process easier.
And the absolutely great news – a huge benefit of Clusters – is that Shared Matches will cluster when they are Private, or have little or no Tree, or even when they have a robust Tree, but you cannot find any Common Ancestor. In other words no genealogy, nor TGs for that matter, are required to place a Match in a Cluster. Also AncestryDNA Matches who share less that 20cM can also be manually added to a Cluster, based on their Shared Matches. This is bringing “into the fold” Matches which normally would not be grouped. And putting these Matches into Clusters at any level, really helps when it comes to building parts of their Tree out to meet yours.
Match Clusters really fine tune our data. Happy dance… [HT: Dana Leeds]
[22AB] Segment-ology: Walking the Clusters Back TIDBIT by Jim Bartlett 20190214