ConiVAT: Cluster Tendency Assessment and Clustering with Partial Background Knowledge

by   Punit Rathore, et al.

The VAT method is a visual technique for determining the potential cluster structure and the possible number of clusters in numerical data. Its improved version, iVAT, uses a path-based distance transform to improve the effectiveness of VAT for "tough" cases. Both VAT and iVAT have also been used in conjunction with a single-linkage(SL) hierarchical clustering algorithm. However, they are sensitive to noise and bridge points between clusters in the dataset, and consequently, the corresponding VAT/iVAT images are often in-conclusive for such cases. In this paper, we propose a constraint-based version of iVAT, which we call ConiVAT, that makes use of background knowledge in the form of constraints, to improve VAT/iVAT for challenging and complex datasets. ConiVAT uses the input constraints to learn the underlying similarity metric and builds a minimum transitive dissimilarity matrix, before applying VAT to it. We demonstrate ConiVAT approach to visual assessment and single linkage clustering on nine datasets to show that, it improves the quality of iVAT images for complex datasets, and it also overcomes the limitation of SL clustering with VAT/iVAT due to "noisy" bridges between clusters. Extensive experiment results on nine datasets suggest that ConiVAT outperforms the other three semi-supervised clustering algorithms in terms of improved clustering accuracy.


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