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Accelerating Exact k-means Algorithms with Geometric Reasoning

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journal contribution
posted on 01.01.1999, 00:00 by Dan Pelleg, Andrew Moore
We present new algorithms for the k-means clustering problem. They use the kd-tree data structure to reduce the large number of nearest-neighbor queries issued by the traditional algorithm. Sufficient statistics are stored in the nodes of the kd-tree. Then, an analysis of the geometry of the current cluster centers results in great reduction of the work needed to update the centers. Our algorithms behave exactly as the traditional k-means algorithm. Proofs of correctness are included. The kd-tree can also be used to initialize the k-means starting centers efficiently. Our algorithms can be easily extended to provide fast ways of computing the error of a given cluster assignment, regardless of the method in which those clusters were obtained. We also show how to use them in a setting which allows approximate clustering results, with the benefit of running faster. We have implemented and tested our algorithms on both real and simulated data. Results show a speedup factor of up to 170 on real astrophysical data, and superiority over the naive algorithm on simulated data in up to 5 dimensions. Our algorithms scale well with respect to the number of points and number of centers, allowing for clustering with tens of thousands of centers.


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Copyright © 1999 by the Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. Permission to make digital or hard copies of part or all of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation on the first page. Copyrights for components of this work owned by others than ACM must be honored. Abstracting with credit is permitted. To copy otherwise, to republish, to post on servers, or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific permission and/or a fee. Request permissions from Publications Dept., ACM, Inc., fax +1 (212) 869-0481, or © ACM, 1999. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of ACM for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in the Proceedings of the fifth ACM SIGKDD international conference on Knowledge discovery and data mining {1-58113-143-7 (1999)}



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