IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Comparing clusterings--an information based distance

  • Meila, Marina
Registered author(s):

    This paper proposes an information theoretic criterion for comparing two partitions, or clusterings, of the same data set. The criterion, called variation of information (VI), measures the amount of information lost and gained in changing from clustering to clustering . The basic properties of VI are presented and discussed. We focus on two kinds of properties: (1) those that help one build intuition about the new criterion (in particular, it is shown the VI is a true metric on the space of clusterings), and (2) those that pertain to the comparability of VI values over different experimental conditions. As the latter properties have rarely been discussed explicitly before, other existing comparison criteria are also examined in their light. Finally we present the VI from an axiomatic point of view, showing that it is the only "sensible" criterion for comparing partitions that is both aligned to the lattice and convexely additive. As a consequence, we prove an impossibility result for comparing partitions: there is no criterion for comparing partitions that simultaneously satisfies the above two desirable properties and is bounded.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6WK9-4MMWHFV-1/2/6e6d4d7733be150b256bcd50a651c241
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Multivariate Analysis.

    Volume (Year): 98 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 5 (May)
    Pages: 873-895

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:jmvana:v:98:y:2007:i:5:p:873-895
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/622892/description#description

    Order Information: Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional
    Web: https://shop.elsevier.com/order?id=622892&ref=622892_01_ooc_1&version=01

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jmvana:v:98:y:2007:i:5:p:873-895. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.