A disadvantage of or to?

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redot

Senior Member
Chinese
I read a paper, there is one sentence :


A disadvantage to k-means is that clusters are only separable by linear hyperplane.

I wonder if to and of are interchangeable here?

So the above sentence can be written as:

A disadvantage of k-means is that clusters are only separable by linear hyperplane.
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Yes, I think so, though 'of' is probably a lot more common with '(dis)advantage'. However, we can say that there are advantages and disadvantages to things - as there are good points and bad points to them.
     

    Franco-filly

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England
    I don't agree. "A disadvantage to k-means is that the clusters [.......] hyperplane" means "That “the fact that the clusters […..] hyperplane is having a negative effect on k-means.

    Whereas “A disadvantage of k-means” would suggest k-means is having a negative effect on something else (/ the clusters) ”


    I’ve made sentences to make this clearer as the original is a bit too technical for me.:eek:

    Wearing wellies is a good way to keep your feet dry. However, a disadvantage to your feet is that they get sweaty in warm weather.
    A disadvantage of wearing wellies in warm whether is that your feet get sweaty.

    "A disadvantage of your feet is that they get sweaty" is another problem:D
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    That is a possibility. Not knowing what the sentence means, it's hard to say. The British National Corpus has 36 instances of "disadvantage to" in various meanings, of which four seem to me synonyms for "disadvantage of" (i.e. "of using", or similar):

    (1) The main disadvantage to direct use lies in the fact that supply reaches its maximum at the same time as demand is at its minimum.
    (2) But the real disadvantage to this approach is in terms of the control of maintenance because as we've already said you'll have done analysis and design on these elementary but fundamental business functions which reside inside the application.
    (3) Cos it'd be, I mean a big disadvantage to a lot of particular schools around this area is the number of erm Asian and
    (4) Do you think that there is a disadvantage to being a woman at school, so far as a science subject's concerned?

    Actually (4) could be said with 'in', not 'of', but it's the same orientation, I think: it's one of the disadvantages of being a woman at school . . .
     
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