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A new relational clustering method is introduced, based on the Dempster-Shafer theory of belief functions (or evidence theory). Given a matrix of dissimilarities between n objects, this method, referred to as evidential clustering (EVCLUS), assigns a basic belief assignment (or mass function) to each object in such a way that the degree of conflict between the masses given to any two objects reflects their dissimilarity. A notion of credal partition is introduced, which subsumes those of hard, fuzzy, and possibilistic partitions, allowing to gain deeper insight into the structure of the data. Experiments with several sets of real data demonstrate the good performances of the proposed method as compared with several state-of-the-art relational clustering techniques.
Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part B: Cybernetics, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:34 , Issue: 1 )
Date of Publication: Feb. 2004