Enhanced Ensemble Clustering via Fast Propagation of Cluster-wise Similarities

Dong Huang, Chang-Dong Wang, Hongxing Peng, Jianhuang Lai, Chee-Keong Kwoh

Ensemble clustering has been a popular research topic in data mining and machine learning. Despite its significant progress in recent years, there are still two challenging issues in the current ensemble clustering research. First, most of the existing algorithms tend to investigate the ensemble information at the object-level, yet often lack the ability to explore the rich information at higher levels of granularity. Second, they mostly focus on the direct connections (e.g., direct intersection or pair-wise co-occurrence) in the multiple base clusterings, but generally neglect the multi-scale indirect relationship hidden in them. To address these two issues, this paper presents a novel ensemble clustering approach based on fast propagation of cluster-wise similarities via random walks. We first construct a cluster similarity graph with the base clusters treated as graph nodes and the cluster-wise Jaccard coefficient exploited to compute the initial edge weights. Upon the constructed graph, a transition probability matrix is defined, based on which the random walk process is conducted to propagate the graph structural information. Specifically, by investigating the propagating trajectories starting from different nodes, a new cluster-wise similarity matrix can be derived by considering the trajectory relationship. Then, the newly obtained cluster-wise similarity matrix is mapped from the cluster-level to the object-level to achieve an enhanced co-association (ECA) matrix, which is able to simultaneously capture the object-wise co-occurrence relationship as well as the multi-scale cluster-wise relationship in ensembles. Finally, two novel consensus functions are proposed to obtain the consensus clustering result. Extensive experiments on a variety of real-world datasets have demonstrated the effectiveness and efficiency of our approach.

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