The paper presents a least squares framework for divisive clustering. Two popular divisive clustering methods, Bisecting K-Means and Principal Direction Division, appear to be versions of the same least squares approach. The PDD recently has been enhanced with a stopping criterion taking into account the minima of the corresponding one-dimensional density function (dePDDP method). We extend this approach to Bisecting K-Means by projecting the data onto random directions and compare thus modified methods. It appears the dePDDP method is superior at datasets with relatively small numbers of clusters, whatever cluster intermix, whereas our version of Bisecting K-Means is superior at greater cluster numbers with noise entities added to the cluster structure.
The issue of determining “the right number of clusters” in K-Means has attracted considerable interest, especially in the recent years. Cluster intermix appears to be a factor most affecting the clustering results. This paper proposes an experimental setting for comparison of different approaches at data generated from Gaussian clusters with the controlled parameters of between- and within-cluster spread to model cluster intermix. The setting allows for evaluating the centroid recovery on par with conventional evaluation of the cluster recovery. The subjects of our interest are two versions of the “intelligent” K-Means method, ik-Means, that find the “right” number of clusters by extracting “anomalous patterns” from the data one-by-one. We compare them with seven other methods, including Hartigan’s rule, averaged Silhouette width and Gap statistic, under different between- and within-cluster spread-shape conditions. There are several consistent patterns in the results of our experiments, such as that the right K is reproduced best by Hartigan’s rule – but not clusters or their centroids. This leads us to propose an adjusted version of iK-Means, which performs well in the current experiment setting.
The appeal of metric evaluation of research impact has attracted considerable interest in recent times. Although the public at large and administrative bodies are much interested in the idea, scientists and other researchers are much more cautious, insisting that metrics are but an auxiliary instrument to the qualitative peer-based judgement. The goal of this article is to propose availing of such a well positioned construct as domain taxonomy as a tool for directly assessing the scope and quality of research. We first show how taxonomies can be used to analyse the scope and perspectives of a set of research projects or papers. Then we proceed to define a research team or researcher’s rank by those nodes in the hierarchy that have been created or significantly transformed by the results of the researcher. An experimental test of the approach in the data analysis domain is described. Although the concept of taxonomy seems rather simplistic to describe all the richness of a research domain, its changes and use can be made transparent and subject to open discussions.