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When using cDNA microarrays, normalization to correct biases is a common preliminary step before carrying out any data analysis, its objective being to reduce the systematic variations between the arrays. The biases are due to various systematic factors - scanner setting, amount of mRNA in the sample pool, and dye response characteristics between the channels. Since expression-based phenotype classification is a major use of microarrays, it is important to evaluate microarray normalization procedures relative to classification. Using a model-based approach, we model the systemic-error process to generate synthetic gene-expression values with known ground truth. Three normalization methods and three classification rules are then considered. Our simulation shows that normalization can have a significant benefit for classification under difficult experimental conditions.