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Some new indexes of cluster validity

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2 Author(s)
Bezdek, J.C. ; Div. of Comput. Sci., Univ. of West Florida, Pensacola, FL, USA ; Pal, N.R.

We review two clustering algorithms (hard c-means and single linkage) and three indexes of crisp cluster validity (Hubert's statistics, the Davies-Bouldin index, and Dunn's index). We illustrate two deficiencies of Dunn's index which make it overly sensitive to noisy clusters and propose several generalizations of it that are not as brittle to outliers in the clusters. Our numerical examples show that the standard measure of interset distance (the minimum distance between points in a pair of sets) is the worst (least reliable) measure upon which to base cluster validation indexes when the clusters are expected to form volumetric clouds. Experimental results also suggest that intercluster separation plays a more important role in cluster validation than cluster diameter. Our simulations show that while Dunn's original index has operational flaws, the concept it embodies provides a rich paradigm for validation of partitions that have cloud-like clusters. Five of our generalized Dunn's indexes provide the best validation results for the simulations presented

Published in:

Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part B: Cybernetics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:28 ,  Issue: 3 )

Date of Publication:

Jun 1998

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