Clustering: a neural network approach
Clustering is a fundamental data analysis method. It is widely used for pattern recognition, feature extraction, vector quantization (VQ), image segmentation, function approximation, and data mining. As an unsupervised classification technique, clustering identifies some inherent structures present in a set of objects based on a similarity measure. Clustering methods can be based on statistical model identification (McLachlan & Basford, 1988) or competitive learning. In this paper, we give a comprehensive overview of competitive learning based clustering methods. Importance is attached to a number of competitive learning based clustering neural networks such as the self-organizing map (SOM), the learning vector quantization (LVQ), the neural gas, and the ART model, and clustering algorithms such as the C-means, mountain/subtractive clustering, and fuzzy C-means (FCM) algorithms. Associated topics such as the under-utilization problem, fuzzy clustering, robust clustering, clustering based on non-Euclidean distance measures, supervised clustering, hierarchical clustering as well as cluster validity are also described. Two examples are given to demonstrate the use of the clustering methods.