The related work can be categorized into the following groups.
Since the concept emerged in the late 1950s, segmentation has been one of the most researched topics in the marketing literature. There have been two dimensions of segmentation research: segmentation bases and methods. A segmentation basis is defined as a set of variables or characteristics used to assign potential customers to homogenous groups. Research in segmentation bases focuses on identifying effective variables for segmentation, such as socioeconomic status, loyalty, and price elasticity (Frank et al 1972). Cluster analysis has historically been the most well-known method for market segmentation (Gordon 1980). Recently, much of market segmentation literature has focused on the technology of identifying segments from marketing data through the development and application of finite mixture models (see Böhning (1995) for a review). In general model-based clustering (Fraley & Raftery 1998; Fraley & Raftery 2002), the data is viewed as coming from a mixture of probability distributions, each representing a different cluster.