Reconstructability analysis (RA) is a method for detecting and analyzing the structure of multivariate categorical data. While Jones and his colleagues extended the original variable‐based formulation of RA to encompass models defined in terms of system states, their focus was the analysis and approximation of real‐valued functions. In this paper, we separate two ideas that Jones had merged together: the “g to k” transformation and state‐based modeling. We relate the idea of state‐based modeling to established variable‐based RA concepts and methods, including structure lattices, search strategies, metrics of model quality, and the statistical evaluation of model fit for analyses based on sample data. We also discuss the interpretation of state‐based modeling results for both neutral and directed systems, and address the practical question of how state‐based approaches can be used in conjunction with established variable‐based methods.
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