Unsupervised Learning

Learning with no labels!

K-Means: Cluster data into k clusters

K-Means Algorithm

Step 1: Randomly initialize k clusters ($\mu_{k}$)

Step 2: Fix the cluster centers, and assign points to clusters

Step 3: Fix the cluster membership, and update cluster centers

Repeat steps 2 and 3 until convergence/stopping criteria met

How to pick k?

K is a hyperparameter

Prior knowledge

Visualize your data (if possible)

NOTE: If let k increase without penalty, error will always decrease

Global vs. Local Optima

K-Means guarantees a local optima if run to convergence


Better cluster initialization

Shown to converge more quickly than K-Means

Instead of randomly initializing the k clusters, tries to spread out the clusters

The rest of the algorithm is same as K-Means

Spark implements a parallel version of cluster initialization called K-Means||

Clustering Techniques