A Group-based Distance Learning Method for Semi-supervised Fuzzy Clustering

Xuyang Jing, Zheng Yan*, Yinghua Shen, Witold Pedrycz, Ji Yang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Learning a proper distance for clustering from prior knowledge falls into the realm of semisupervised fuzzy clustering. Although most existing learning methods take prior knowledge (e.g., pairwise constraints) into account, they pay little attention to local knowledge of data, which, however, can be utilized to optimize the distance. In this article, we propose a novel distance learning method, which learns from the Group-level information, for semisupervised fuzzing clustering. We first present a new format of constraint information, called Group-level constraints, by elevating the pairwise constraints (must-links and cannot-links) from point level to Group level. The Groups, generated around data points contained in the pairwise constraints, carry not only the local information of data (the relation between close data points) but also more background information under some given limited prior knowledge. Then, we propose a novel method to learn a distance by using the Group-level constraints, namely, Group-based distance learning, in order to optimize the performance of fuzzy clustering. The distance learning process aims to pull must-link Groups as close as possible while pushing cannot-link Groups as far as possible. We formulate the learning process with the weights of constraints by invoking some linear and nonlinear transformations. The linear Group-based distance learning method is realized by means of semidefinite programming, and the nonlinear learning method is realized by using the neural network, which can explicitly provide nonlinear mappings. Experimental results based on both synthetic and real-world datasets show that the proposed methods yield much better performance compared to other distance learning methods using pairwise constraints.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Cybernetics
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • constraint weight
  • distance learning
  • Mahalanobis distance
  • neural networks
  • pairwise constraints
  • semisupervised fuzzy clustering

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