Robust and efficient multi-way spectral clustering

Anil Damle, Victor Minden, Lexing Ying

We present a new algorithm for spectral clustering based on a column-pivoted QR factorization that may be directly used for cluster assignment or to provide an initial guess for k-means. Our algorithm is simple to implement, direct, and requires no initial guess. Furthermore, it scales linearly in the number of nodes of the graph and a randomized variant provides significant computational gains. Provided the subspace spanned by the eigenvectors used for clustering contains a basis that resembles the set of indicator vectors on the clusters, we prove that both our deterministic and randomized algorithms recover a basis close to the indicators in Frobenius norm. We also experimentally demonstrate that the performance of our algorithm tracks recent information theoretic bounds for exact recovery in the stochastic block model. Finally, we explore the performance of our algorithm when applied to a real world graph.

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