Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Stochastic Data Clustering
by Wessell, Charles David, Ph.D., North Carolina State University, 2011, 102; 3479609
Abstract (Summary)

Data clustering, the search for hidden structure in data sets, is a field with many different methodologies, all of which work well in some situations and poorly in others. Because of this, there is growing interest in finding a consensus clustering solution that combines the results from a large number of clusterings of a particular data set. These large number of solutions can be stored in a square matrix that is often nearly uncoupled, and through clever use of theory regarding dynamical systems first published in 1961 by Herbert Simon and Albert Ando, a clustering method can be developed.

This thesis will explain the rationale behind this new clustering method and then make sure it has a solid mathematical foundation. One of the key steps in this new method is converting a nearly uncoupled matrix to doubly stochastic form. Among the contributions of this thesis is a measure of near uncoupledness that can be applied to matrices both before and after that conversion and rigorous proofs that the conversion to doubly stochastic form does not destroy the symmetry, irreducibility, or near uncoupledness of the original matrix.

Additionally, the connection between the second eigenvalue of an irreducible, symmetric, doubly stochastic matrix and the nearly uncoupled structure of that matrix will be rigorously proven, with the result being that examination of the second eigenvalue will play an essential role in the new clustering algorithm.

Actual clustering results will be presented to show that the intuitive notions and mathematical theory that constructed this method do indeed produce high quality clustering results.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Meyer, Carl D.
School: North Carolina State University
School Location: United States -- North Carolina
Source: DAI-B 72/12, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mathematics
Keywords: Data clustering, Markov chains, Matrix balancing
Publication Number: 3479609
ISBN: 978-1-124-92356-7
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