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A generalized hybrid unsupervised learning algorithm, which is termed as rough-fuzzy possibilistic C-means (RFPCM), is proposed in this paper. It comprises a judicious integration of the principles of rough and fuzzy sets. While the concept of lower and upper approximations of rough sets deals with uncertainty, vagueness, and incompleteness in class definition, the membership function of fuzzy sets enables efficient handling of overlapping partitions. It incorporates both probabilistic and possibilistic memberships simultaneously to avoid the problems of noise sensitivity of fuzzy C-means and the coincident clusters of PCM. The concept of crisp lower bound and fuzzy boundary of a class, which is introduced in the RFPCM, enables efficient selection of cluster prototypes. The algorithm is generalized in the sense that all existing variants of C-means algorithms can be derived from the proposed algorithm as a special case. Several quantitative indices are introduced based on rough sets for the evaluation of performance of the proposed C-means algorithm. The effectiveness of the algorithm, along with a comparison with other algorithms, has been demonstrated both qualitatively and quantitatively on a set of real-life data sets.
Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part B: Cybernetics, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:37 , Issue: 6 )
Date of Publication: Dec. 2007