April 11, 2007

Locally Scaled Density Based Clustering

Ergun Biçici and Deniz Yuret. In International Conference on Adaptive and Natural Computing Algorithms (ICANNGA 2007), LNCS 4431, Part I, Springer-Verlag. (PDF, PS, Presentation, Code, Readme)

Abstract: Density based clustering methods allow the identification of arbitrary, not necessarily convex regions of data points that are densely populated. The number of clusters does not need to be specified beforehand; a cluster is defined to be a connected region that exceeds a given density threshold. This paper introduces the notion of local scaling in density based clustering, which determines the density threshold based on the local statistics of the data. The local maxima of density are discovered using a k-nearest-neighbor density estimation and used as centers of potential clusters. Each cluster is grown until the density falls below a pre-specified ratio of the center point’s density. The resulting clustering technique is able to identify clusters of arbitrary shape on noisy backgrounds that contain significant density gradients. The focus of this paper is to automate the process of clustering by making use of the local density information for arbitrarily sized, shaped, located, and numbered clusters. The performance of the new algorithm is promising as it is demonstrated on a number of synthetic datasets and images for a wide range of its parameters.

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