Probabilistic Multilevel Clustering via Composite Transportation Distance

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Nhat Ho, Viet Huynh, Dinh Phung, Michael Jordan ;
Proceedings of Machine Learning Research, PMLR 89:3149-3157, 2019.

Abstract

We propose a novel probabilistic approach to multilevel clustering problems based on composite transportation distance, which is a variant of transportation distance where the underlying metric is Kullback-Leibler divergence. Our method involves solving a joint optimization problem over spaces of probability measures to simultaneously discover grouping structures within groups and among groups. By exploiting the connection of our method to the problem of finding composite transportation barycenters, we develop fast and efficient optimization algorithms even for potentially large-scale multilevel datasets. Finally, we present experimental results with both synthetic and real data to demonstrate the efficiency and scalability of the proposed approach.

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