XClusters: Explainability-first Clustering

Hyunseung Hwang, Steven Euijong Whang

We study the problem of explainability-first clustering where explainability becomes a first-class citizen for clustering. Previous clustering approaches use decision trees for explanation, but only after the clustering is completed. In contrast, our approach is to perform clustering and decision tree training holistically where the decision tree's performance and size also influence the clustering results. We assume the attributes for clustering and explaining are distinct, although this is not necessary. We observe that our problem is a monotonic optimization where the objective function is a difference of monotonic functions. We then propose an efficient branch-and-bound algorithm for finding the best parameters that lead to a balance of cluster distortion and decision tree explainability. Our experiments show that our method can improve the explainability of any clustering that fits in our framework.

Knowledge Graph

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