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An efficient prototype merging strategy for the condensed 1-NN rule through class-conditional hierarchical clustering. Pattern Recognition, 2002. Vol. 35 (12), pp. 2771-2782.A generalized prototype-based classification scheme founded on hierarchical clustering is proposed. The basic idea is to obtain a condensed 1-NN classification rule by merging the two same-class nearest clusters, provided that the set of cluster representatives correctly classify all the original points. Apart from the quality of the obtained sets and its flexibility which comes from the fact that different intercluster measures and criteria can be used, the proposed scheme includes a very efficient four-stage procedure which conveniently exploits geometric cluster properties to decide about each possible merge. Empirical results demonstrate the merits of the proposed algorithm taking into account the size of the condensed sets of prototypes, the accuracy of the corresponding condensed 1-NN classification rule and the computing time.