Pattern Preserving Clustering

Pattern Preserving Clustering

Hui Xiong (Rutgers University, USA), Michael Steinbach (University of Minnesota, USA), Pang-Ning Tan (Michigan State University, USA), Vipin Kumar (University of Minnesota, USA) and Wenjun Zhou (Rutgers University, USA)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 6
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-010-3.ch231
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Abstract

Clustering and association analysis are important techniques for analyzing data. Cluster analysis (Jain & Dubes, 1988) provides insight into the data by dividing objects into groups (clusters), such that objects in a cluster are more similar to each other than to objects in other clusters. Association analysis (Agrawal, Imielinski & Swami, 1993), on the other hand, provides insight into the data by finding a large number of strong patterns -- frequent itemsets and other patterns derived from them -- in the data set. Indeed, both clustering and association analysis are concerned with finding groups of strongly related objects, although at different levels. Association analysis finds strongly related objects on a local level, i.e., with respect to a subset of attributes, while cluster analysis finds strongly related objects on a global level, i.e., by using all of the attributes to compute similarity values. Recently, Xiong, Tan & Kumar (2003) have defined a new pattern for association analysis -- the hyperclique pattern -- which demonstrates a particularly strong connection between the overall similarity of all objects and the itemsets (local pattern) in which they are involved. The hyperclique pattern possesses a high affinity property: the objects in a hyperclique pattern have a guaranteed level of global pairwise similarity to one another as measured by the cosine similarity (uncentered Pearson correlation coefficient). Since clustering depends on similarity, it seems reasonable that the hyperclique pattern should have some connection to clustering. Ironically, we found that hyperclique patterns are mostly destroyed by standard clustering techniques, i.e., standard clustering schemes do not preserve the hyperclique patterns, but rather, the objects comprising them are typically split among different clusters. To understand why this is not desirable, consider a set of hyperclique patterns for documents. The high affinity property of hyperclique patterns requires that these documents must be similar to one another; the stronger the hyperclique, the more similar the documents. Thus, for strong patterns, it would seem desirable (from a clustering viewpoint) that documents in the same pattern end up in the same cluster in many or most cases. As mentioned, however, this is not what happens for traditional clustering algorithms. This is not surprising since traditional clustering algorithms have no built in knowledge of these patterns and may often have goals that are in conflict with preserving patterns, e.g., minimize the distances of points from their closest cluster centroids.
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Introduction

Clustering and association analysis are important techniques for analyzing data. Cluster analysis (Jain & Dubes, 1988) provides insight into the data by dividing objects into groups (clusters), such that objects in a cluster are more similar to each other than to objects in other clusters. Association analysis (Agrawal, Imielinski & Swami, 1993), on the other hand, provides insight into the data by finding a large number of strong patterns -- frequent itemsets and other patterns derived from them -- in the data set. Indeed, both clustering and association analysis are concerned with finding groups of strongly related objects, although at different levels. Association analysis finds strongly related objects on a local level, i.e., with respect to a subset of attributes, while cluster analysis finds strongly related objects on a global level, i.e., by using all of the attributes to compute similarity values.

Recently, Xiong, Tan & Kumar (2003) have defined a new pattern for association analysis -- the hyperclique pattern -- which demonstrates a particularly strong connection between the overall similarity of all objects and the itemsets (local pattern) in which they are involved. The hyperclique pattern possesses a high affinity property: the objects in a hyperclique pattern have a guaranteed level of global pairwise similarity to one another as measured by the cosine similarity (uncentered Pearson correlation coefficient). Since clustering depends on similarity, it seems reasonable that the hyperclique pattern should have some connection to clustering.

Ironically, we found that hyperclique patterns are mostly destroyed by standard clustering techniques, i.e., standard clustering schemes do not preserve the hyperclique patterns, but rather, the objects comprising them are typically split among different clusters. To understand why this is not desirable, consider a set of hyperclique patterns for documents. The high affinity property of hyperclique patterns requires that these documents must be similar to one another; the stronger the hyperclique, the more similar the documents. Thus, for strong patterns, it would seem desirable (from a clustering viewpoint) that documents in the same pattern end up in the same cluster in many or most cases. As mentioned, however, this is not what happens for traditional clustering algorithms. This is not surprising since traditional clustering algorithms have no built in knowledge of these patterns and may often have goals that are in conflict with preserving patterns, e.g., minimize the distances of points from their closest cluster centroids.

More generally, the breaking of these patterns is also undesirable from an application point of view. Specifically, in many application domains, there are fundamental patterns that dominate the description and analysis of data within that area, e.g., in text mining, collections of words that form a topic, and in biological sciences, a set of proteins that form a functional module (Xiong et al. 2005). If these patterns are not respected, then the value of a data analysis is greatly diminished for end users. If our interest is in patterns, such as hyperclique patterns, then we need a clustering approach that preserves these patterns, i.e., puts the objects of these patterns in the same cluster. Otherwise, the resulting clusters will be harder to understand since they must be interpreted solely in terms of objects instead of well-understood patterns.

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