Limitations of Self-organizing Maps for Vector Quantization and Multidimensional Scaling

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 9 (NIPS 1996)

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Arthur Flexer


The limitations of using self-organizing maps (SaM) for either clustering/vector quantization (VQ) or multidimensional scaling (MDS) are being discussed by reviewing recent empirical findings and the relevant theory. SaM 's remaining ability of doing both VQ and MDS at the same time is challenged by a new combined tech(cid:173) nique of online K-means clustering plus Sammon mapping of the cluster centroids. SaM are shown to perform significantly worse in terms of quantization error , in recovering the structure of the clus(cid:173) ters and in preserving the topology in a comprehensive empirical study using a series of multivariate normal clustering problems.