Clustering with Gaussian mixtures

February 1, 2007 by
Filed under: clustering, Gaussian mixtures, GMM 

In a previous post on clustering and cluster validity (i.e. determining the number of clusters), I was writing about the different types of algorithms. Another way of doing clustering is through Gaussian mixtures.

Andrew W. Moore has made a nice presentation on this topic. After a short introduction on unsupervised learning, he then presents GMM (Gaussian Mixtures Models) principles. He continues with the EM (Expectation Maximization) algorithm for maximum likelihood. He also gives real-life examples. Finally the Duda et al. book is suggested as reference.

Using Gaussian mixtures for clustering is clean and provides a strong mathematical background. Moreover, using cross-validation, the number of clusters within data can be inferred. However, the algorithm (with cross-validation) is time consuming and perhaps not practical for some real-life data sets.

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2 Comments on Clustering with Gaussian mixtures

  1. John Aitchison on Sun, 4th Mar 2007 1:47 am
  2. Hi
    Are you aware of the MULTIMIX approach of Murray Jorgensen?

    .. you can get more details from here
    http://www.stats.waikato.ac.nz/Staff/maj.html

    . .. it is also mentioned on David Dowe’s page
    http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~dld/cluster.html

  3. Sandro Saitta on Wed, 14th Mar 2007 12:58 pm
  4. Hi John,

    I wasn’t aware of the MULTIMIX approach up to now. It seems to be closely related to mixture of Gaussians. However, I don’t know if it has the same main drawback (i.e. time consuming).

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