Does Anyone Know of Any *Discrete* Clustering Algorithms?

awwsmm profile image Andrew (he/him) ・1 min read

I'm doing some research into clustering algorithms and every source I seem to find discusses 2D (or higher-dimensional) clustering of continuous data. The nearest thing I've found to what I'm looking for is this article which discusses discrete-continuous clustering (where the x and y axes are quantized into cells, but the z axis is allowed to vary continuously).

Has anyone come across any algorithms which perform cluster analysis of purely discrete data? Specifically 2D?


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berniwittmann profile image
Bernhard Wittmann

How about Single-Linkage Clustering or Complete-Linkage Clustering, both belong to hierarchical Clustering, you just have to choose a distance metric that works on the grid, like Manhattan Distance.

Actually shouldn't it be possible to adopt any Clustering algorithm: as an example k-means: you need to choose an appropriate distance metric as above and second adjust the calculation of the prototypes to choose a point of the grid.

dylan profile image

Can you be a bit more specific about what your data looks like? Are x and y categorical features and z continuous? I had, at some point, a SO thread about combining data specific distance functions in a nearest neighbor search. I can't find it anymore, but it would be sort of like def custom_distance(X): return scipy.dice(categorical_features) + scipy.euclidean(continuous_features)

It looks sort of like: members.cbio.mines-paristech.fr/~j...

Found it! Hopefully something in this thread is helpful.