A Kernel-based core growing clustering method

T. W. Hsieh, J. S. Taur, C. W. Tao, Sun-Yuan Kung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


In this paper, a novel clustering method in the kernel space is proposed. It effectively integrates several existing algorithms to become an iterative clustering scheme, which can handle clusters with arbitrary shapes. In our proposed approach, a reasonable initial core for each of the cluster is estimated. This allows us to adopt a cluster growing technique, and the growing cores offer partial hints on the cluster association. Consequently, the methods used for classification, such as support vector machines (SVMs), can be useful in our approach. To obtain initial clusters effectively, the notion of the incomplete Cholesky decomposition is adopted so that the fuzzy c-means (FCM) can be used to partition the data in a kernel defined-like space. Then a one-class and a multiclass soft margin SVMs are adopted to detect the data within the main distributions (the cores) of the clusters and to repartition the data into new clusters iteratively. The structure of the data set is explored by pruning the data in the low-density region of the clusters. Then data are gradually added back to the main distributions to assure exact cluster boundaries. Unlike the ordinary SVM algorithm, whose performance relies heavily on the kernel parameters given by the user, the parameters are estimated from the data set naturally in our approach. The experimental evaluations on two synthetic data sets and four University of California Irvine real data benchmarks indicate that the proposed algorithms outperform several popular clustering algorithms, such as FCM, support vector clustering (SVC), hierarchical clustering (HC), self-organizing maps (SOM), and non-Euclidean norm fuzzy c-means (NEFCM).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)441-458
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Intelligent Systems
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Artificial Intelligence


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