Doubly Stochastic Subspace Clustering

Derek Lim, René Vidal, Benjamin D. Haeffele

Many state-of-the-art subspace clustering methods follow a two-step process by first constructing an affinity matrix between data points and then applying spectral clustering to this affinity. Most of the research into these methods focuses on the first step of generating the affinity matrix, which often exploits the self-expressive property of linear subspaces, with little consideration typically given to the spectral clustering step that produces the final clustering. Moreover, existing methods obtain the affinity by applying ad-hoc postprocessing steps to the self-expressive representation of the data, and this postprocessing can have a significant impact on the subsequent spectral clustering step. In this work, we propose to unify these two steps by jointly learning both a self-expressive representation of the data and an affinity matrix that is well-normalized for spectral clustering. In the proposed model, we constrain the affinity matrix to be doubly stochastic, which results in a principled method for affinity matrix normalization while also exploiting the known benefits of doubly stochastic normalization in spectral clustering. While our proposed model is non-convex, we give a convex relaxation that is provably equivalent in many regimes; we also develop an efficient approximation to the full model that works well in practice. Experiments show that our method achieves state-of-the-art subspace clustering performance on many common datasets in computer vision.

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