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Quantization and clustering on Riemannian manifolds with an application to air traffic analysis

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  • Le Brigant, Alice
  • Puechmorel, Stéphane

Abstract

The goal of quantization is to find the best approximation of a probability distribution by a discrete measure with finite support. When dealing with empirical distributions, this boils down to finding the best summary of the data by a smaller number of points, and automatically yields a K-means-type clustering. In this paper, we introduce Competitive Learning Riemannian Quantization (CLRQ), an online quantization algorithm that applies when the data does not belong to a vector space, but rather a Riemannian manifold. It can be seen as a density approximation procedure as well as a clustering method. Compared to many clustering algorithms, it requires few distance computations, which is particularly computationally advantageous in the manifold setting. We prove its convergence and show simulated examples on the sphere and the hyperbolic plane. We also provide an application to real data by using CLRQ to create summaries of images of covariance matrices estimated from air traffic images. These summaries are representative of the air traffic complexity and yield clusterings of the airspaces into zones that are homogeneous with respect to that criterion. They can then be compared using discrete optimal transport and be further used as inputs of a machine learning algorithm or as indexes in a traffic database.

Suggested Citation

  • Le Brigant, Alice & Puechmorel, Stéphane, 2019. "Quantization and clustering on Riemannian manifolds with an application to air traffic analysis," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 173(C), pages 685-703.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jmvana:v:173:y:2019:i:c:p:685-703
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jmva.2019.05.008
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    References listed on IDEAS

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