, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 304-336
Date: 10 Jan 2013

Adaptive evolutionary clustering

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Abstract

In many practical applications of clustering, the objects to be clustered evolve over time, and a clustering result is desired at each time step. In such applications, evolutionary clustering typically outperforms traditional static clustering by producing clustering results that reflect long-term trends while being robust to short-term variations. Several evolutionary clustering algorithms have recently been proposed, often by adding a temporal smoothness penalty to the cost function of a static clustering method. In this paper, we introduce a different approach to evolutionary clustering by accurately tracking the time-varying proximities between objects followed by static clustering. We present an evolutionary clustering framework that adaptively estimates the optimal smoothing parameter using shrinkage estimation, a statistical approach that improves a naïve estimate using additional information. The proposed framework can be used to extend a variety of static clustering algorithms, including hierarchical, k-means, and spectral clustering, into evolutionary clustering algorithms. Experiments on synthetic and real data sets indicate that the proposed framework outperforms static clustering and existing evolutionary clustering algorithms in many scenarios.