Hierarchical Clustering of a Mixture Model

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 17 (NIPS 2004)

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Jacob Goldberger, Sam Roweis


In this paper we propose an efficient algorithm for reducing a large mixture of Gaussians into a smaller mixture while still preserv- ing the component structure of the original model; this is achieved by clustering (grouping) the components. The method minimizes a new, easily computed distance measure between two Gaussian mixtures that can be motivated from a suitable stochastic model and the iterations of the algorithm use only the model parameters, avoiding the need for explicit resampling of datapoints. We demon- strate the method by performing hierarchical clustering of scenery images and handwritten digits.