Using combinatorial optimization in model-based trimmed clustering with cardinality constraints
Statistical clustering criteria with free scale parameters and unknown cluster sizes are inclined to create small, spurious clusters. To mitigate this tendency a statistical model for cardinality-constrained clustering of data with gross outliers is established, its maximum likelihood and maximum a posteriori clustering criteria are derived, and their consistency and robustness are analyzed. The criteria lead to constrained optimization problems that can be solved by using iterative, alternating trimming algorithms of k-means type. Each step in the algorithms requires the solution of a [lambda]-assignment problem known from combinatorial optimization. The method allows one to estimate the numbers of clusters and outliers. It is illustrated with a synthetic data set and a real one.
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