Davidson I., Wagstaff K.L., Basu S. (2006) Measuring Constraint-Set Utility for Partitional Clustering Algorithms. In: Fürnkranz J., Scheffer T., Spiliopoulou M. (eds) Knowledge Discovery in Databases: PKDD 2006. PKDD 2006. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 4213. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
Clustering with constraints is an active area of machine learning and data mining research. Previous empirical work has convincingly shown that adding constraints to clustering improves performance, with respect to the true data labels. However, in most of these experiments, results are averaged over different randomly chosen constraint sets, thereby masking interesting properties of individual sets. We demonstrate that constraint sets vary significantly in how useful they are for constrained clustering; some constraint sets can actually decrease algorithm performance. We create two quantitative measures, informativeness and coherence, that can be used to identify useful constraint sets. We show that these measures can also help explain differences in performance for four particular constrained clustering algorithms.