© 2014

Advances in Sequence Analysis: Theory, Method, Applications

  • Philippe Blanchard
  • Felix Bühlmann
  • Jacques-Antoine Gauthier


  • Provides the latest details on sequence analysis technique development

  • Encourages international harmonization of good practices

  • Presents authoritative contributions from world experts in sequence analysis


Part of the Life Course Research and Social Policies book series (LCRS, volume 2)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Jacques-Antoine Gauthier, Felix Bühlmann, Philippe Blanchard
    Pages 1-17
  3. How to Compare Sequences

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 19-19
    2. Shin-Kap Han
      Pages 21-38
    3. Cees H. Elzinga
      Pages 51-73
    4. Brendan Halpin
      Pages 75-103
  4. Life Course Sequences

  5. Political Sequences

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 169-169
    2. François Buton, Claire Lemercier, Nicolas Mariot
      Pages 191-211
  6. Visualisation of Sequences and Their Use for Survey Research

About this book


This book gives a general view of sequence analysis, the statistical study of successions of states or events. It includes innovative contributions on life course studies, transitions into and out of employment, contemporaneous and historical careers, and political trajectories. The approach presented in this book is now central to the life-course perspective and the study of social processes more generally.

This volume promotes the dialogue between approaches to sequence analysis that developed separately, within traditions contrasted in space and disciplines. It includes the latest developments in sequential concepts, coding, atypical datasets and time patterns, optimal matching and alternative algorithms, survey optimization, and visualization.

Field studies include original sequential material related to parenting in 19th-century Belgium, higher education and work in Finland and Italy, family formation before and after German reunification, French Jews persecuted in occupied France, long-term trends in electoral participation, and regime democratization.

Overall the book reassesses the classical uses of sequences and it promotes new ways of collecting, formatting, representing and processing them. The introduction provides basic sequential concepts and tools, as well as a history of the method. Chapters are presented in a way that is both accessible to the beginner and informative to the expert.


Application of sequence analysis Contemporaneous and historical sequences Data management Event history analysis Family transition From childhood to adult life Life course studies Longitudinal data handling Persecution of Jews during Second World War Residential trajectories Sequence analysis techniques Sociological methodology Transitions into and out of work

Editors and affiliations

  • Philippe Blanchard
    • 1
  • Felix Bühlmann
    • 2
  • Jacques-Antoine Gauthier
    • 3
  1. 1.Inst of Political & International StudiesUniversity of LausanneLausanneAustria
  2. 2.Centre LINES/LIVESUniversity of LausanneLausanneAustria
  3. 3.Centre LINES/LIVESUniversity of LausanneLausanneAustria

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Finance, Business & Banking


“This book provides a global view of sequence analysis, the statistical assessment of successions of states or events. It includes contributions in various applications on life course studies. … I believe that this monograph reassesses the use of sequences in a way of collecting, representing and processing them. The articles are well written and covers material that is very useful for anyone to know.” (Stergios B. Fotopoulos, Technometrics, Vol. 59 (3), July, 2017)

“Advances in Sequence Analysis: Theory, Method, Applications provides an elaborate compendium on SA, and it addresses to both new SA scholars and to experienced SA users who look for up-to-date developments on this methodology. Hence, it can be certainly of interest for population scientists who deal with duration data and who are interested in the latest developments in SA … .” (Valentina Tocchioni, European Journal of Population, Vol. 31 (1), 2015)