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Re: Making sense of data: Clustering OR A coding challenge

by kvale (Monsignor)
on Apr 03, 2006 at 19:32 UTC ( #541005=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Making sense of data: Clustering OR A coding challenge

K-means is not esoteric within the clustering community; in fact, it is the first method people turn to because it is easy to implement. Unfortunately, it is also among the weakest of the adaptive clustering methods. It gets stuck in local minima easily, as this program will show if you run it multiple times:

#!/usr/bin/perl use warnings; use strict; my $num_clust = 4; # number of clusters my $tol = 0.001; # stopping tolerance # my @data = map {rand} 1..100; my @data = (0.1, 0.15, 0.3, 0.35, 0.5, 0.55, 0.7, 0.75); # initialize by choosing random points the data my @center = @data[ map {rand @data} 1..$num_clust ]; my $diff; do { $diff = 0; # Assign points to nearest center my @cluster; foreach my $point (@data) { my $closest = 0; my $dist = abs $point - $center[ $closest ]; for my $idx (1..$#center) { if (abs $point - $center[ $idx ] < $dist) { $dist = abs $point - $center[ $idx ]; $closest = $idx; } } push @cluster, [$point, $closest]; } # compute new centers foreach my $center_idx (0..$#center) { my @members = grep {$_->[1] == $center_idx} @cluster; my $sum = 0; foreach my $member (@members) { $sum += $member->[0]; } my $new_center = @members ? $sum / @members : $center[ $center +_idx ]; $diff += abs $center[ $center_idx ] - $new_center; $center[ $center_idx ] = $new_center; } } while ($diff > $tol); print "Centers are:\n"; foreach my $center_idx (0..$#center) { print "$center_idx $center[ $center_idx ]\n"; }


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