On Pairwise Clustering with Side Information

Stephen Pasteris, Fabio Vitale, Claudio Gentile, Mark Herbster

Pairwise clustering, in general, partitions a set of items via a known similarity function. In our treatment, clustering is modeled as a transductive prediction problem. Thus rather than beginning with a known similarity function, the function instead is hidden and the learner only receives a random sample consisting of a subset of the pairwise similarities. An additional set of pairwise side-information may be given to the learner, which then determines the inductive bias of our algorithms. We measure performance not based on the recovery of the hidden similarity function, but instead on how well we classify each item. We give tight bounds on the number of misclassifications. We provide two algorithms. The first algorithm SACA is a simple agglomerative clustering algorithm which runs in near linear time, and which serves as a baseline for our analyses. Whereas the second algorithm, RGCA, enables the incorporation of side-information which may lead to improved bounds at the cost of a longer running time.

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