Model-based clustering for image segmentation and large datasets via sampling. (English) Zbl 1083.62051

Summary: The rapid increase in the size of data sets makes clustering all the more important to capture and summarize the information, at the same time making clustering more difficult to accomplish. If model-based clustering is applied directly to a large data set, it can be too slow for practical application. A simple and common approach is to first cluster a random sample of moderate size, and then use the clustering model found in this way to classify the remainder of the objects. We show that, in its simplest form, this method may lead to unstable results.
Our experiments suggest that a stable method with better performance can be obtained with two straightforward modifications to the simple sampling method: several tentative models are identified from the sample instead of just one, and several EM steps are used rather than just one E step to classify the full data set. We find that there are significant gains from increasing the size of the sample up to about 2,000, but not from further increases. These conclusions are based on the application of several alternative strategies to the segmentation of three different multispectral images, and to several simulated data sets.


62H30 Classification and discrimination; cluster analysis (statistical aspects)
62H35 Image analysis in multivariate analysis
68U10 Computing methodologies for image processing


R; mclust
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