Simulating mixtures of multivariate data with fixed cluster overlap in FSDA library. (English) Zbl 1414.62267

Summary: We extend the capabilities of MixSim, a framework which is useful for evaluating the performance of clustering algorithms, on the basis of measures of agreement between data partitioning and flexible generation methods for data, outliers and noise. The peculiarity of the method is that data are simulated from normal mixture distributions on the basis of pre-specified synthesis statistics on an overlap measure, defined as a sum of pairwise misclassification probabilities. We provide new tools which enable us to control additional overlapping statistics and departures from homogeneity and sphericity among groups, together with new outlier contamination schemes. The output of this extension is a more flexible framework for generation of data to better address modern robust clustering scenarios in presence of possible contamination. We also study the properties and the implications that this new way of simulating clustering data entails in terms of coverage of space, goodness of fit to theoretical distributions, and degree of convergence to nominal values. We demonstrate the new features using our MATLAB implementation that we have integrated in the Flexible Statistics for Data Analysis (FSDA) toolbox for MATLAB. With MixSim, FSDA now integrates in the same environment state of the art robust clustering algorithms and principled routines for their evaluation and calibration. A spin off of our work is a general complex routine, translated from C language to MATLAB, to compute the distribution function of a linear combinations of non central \(\chi^2\) random variables which is at the core of MixSim and has its own interest for many test statistics.


62H30 Classification and discrimination; cluster analysis (statistical aspects)
62F35 Robustness and adaptive procedures (parametric inference)
Full Text: DOI


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