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Analysis of k-means clustering approach on the breast cancer Wisconsin dataset

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Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers found worldwide and most frequently found in women. An early detection of breast cancer provides the possibility of its cure; therefore, a large number of studies are currently going on to identify methods that can detect breast cancer in its early stages. This study was aimed to find the effects of k-means clustering algorithm with different computation measures like centroid, distance, split method, epoch, attribute, and iteration and to carefully consider and identify the combination of measures that has potential of highly accurate clustering accuracy.


K-means algorithm was used to evaluate the impact of clustering using centroid initialization, distance measures, and split methods. The experiments were performed using breast cancer Wisconsin (BCW) diagnostic dataset. Foggy and random centroids were used for the centroid initialization. In foggy centroid, based on random values, the first centroid was calculated. For random centroid, the initial centroid was considered as (0, 0).


The results were obtained by employing k-means algorithm and are discussed with different cases considering variable parameters. The calculations were based on the centroid (foggy/random), distance (Euclidean/Manhattan/Pearson), split (simple/variance), threshold (constant epoch/same centroid), attribute (2–9), and iteration (4–10). Approximately, 92 % average positive prediction accuracy was obtained with this approach. Better results were found for the same centroid and the highest variance. The results achieved using Euclidean and Manhattan were better than the Pearson correlation.


The findings of this work provided extensive understanding of the computational parameters that can be used with k-means. The results indicated that k-means has a potential to classify BCW dataset.

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Correspondence to Ashutosh Kumar Dubey.

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The authors Ashutosh Kumar Dubey, Umesh Gupta, and Sonal Jain declare that they have no conflict of interest. The manuscript does not contain clinical studies or patient data.

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Dubey, A.K., Gupta, U. & Jain, S. Analysis of k-means clustering approach on the breast cancer Wisconsin dataset. Int J CARS 11, 2033–2047 (2016).

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