Clustering 101

  • Learn about what clustering is and how you can cluster unstructured data
  • Understand how you can cluster long text
  • Understand how you can cluster images
min read

What is clustering?

Clustering is a data analysis technique that groups data points together based on their similarity. This can be useful for understanding your data and finding patterns.

There are many different types of clustering algorithms, but all of them work by looking at the features of each data point and then grouping them together based on how similar they are. For example, if you have a set of customer records, you might use clustering to group them by location or purchase history.

There are several benefits to using clustering:

  1. It can help you understand your data better.
  2. It can identify patterns in your data that you might not have otherwise noticed.
  3. It can be used to generate hypotheses about what’s causing those patterns.
  4. And finally, it can help you decide which clusters are worth investigating further.

How do you cluster unstructured data?

Clustering is a technique used to group similar objects together. This can be useful for data scientists when trying to organize unstructured data. There are many different ways to cluster data, and the most appropriate method depends on the type of data and the desired outcome.

One common method for clustering unstructured data is called K-means clustering. With this approach, a set number of clusters (K) is specified in advance, and then the algorithm tries to find groups of points that are as close together as possible within those clusters. The distance between two points is calculated using a measure like Euclidean distance or Manhattan distance.

Once the clusters have been identified, they can be used for further analysis or visualization. For example, you might want to look at which variables are most closely associated with each cluster. This information can help you understand your data better and make better decisions about how to use it.”

How do you cluster long text?

There are many ways to cluster long text. In this blog post, we will discuss two popular methods: the K-means algorithm and the Hierarchical clustering algorithm.

K-means algorithm

The K-means algorithm is a popular method for clustering data. The algorithm starts by randomly selecting k points, or clusters, in the data set. It then assigns each point in the data set to the nearest cluster centroid.

The centroid is a mathematical term that refers to the average location of all points in a cluster. The process of assigning points to clusters is repeated until no more changes can be made to the clusters’ membership assignments. See more information on k-means below.

Hierarchical clustering algorithm

The Hierarchical clustering algorithm also starts by randomly selecting k points, or clusters, in the data set. However, it does not assign each point to a specific cluster like K-means does; instead it places each point into its own cluster (or leaves it unclustered).

It then finds pairs of adjacent clusters and merges them together if they have at least one common point and their combined distance is less than some predetermined value (the value used depends on how agglomerative hierarchical clustering works). This process continues until there are no more pairs of adjacent clusters that can be merged together without creating a new larger cluster.

How do you cluster images?

There are many ways to cluster images. One way is to use k-means clustering. k-means clustering is a method of vector quantization, originally from signal processing, that is used to partition n observations into k clusters in such a way that the sum of the squares of the distances between each observation and its nearest cluster center is minimized.

The algorithm starts by selecting k points (the “cluster centers”) at random from the data set. Then it iterates through the data points, assigning each one to the closest cluster center.

After all points are assigned, it recalculates the new positions for the cluster centers based on how all of the points are now grouped. It then repeats these two steps until there’s no change in either step—meaning that all clusters have been found and there’s no improvement possible in terms of minimizing distances between data points and their respective clusters.

Once you have your clustered image dataset, what can you do with it? Well, depending on what type of images they are (e.g., medical images vs satellite imagery), you might want to apply different algorithms or visualize them differently.

But some general things you could do include: comparing different clustering methods on your dataset; looking for natural groupings within your data; using hierarchical clustering to create a dendrogram diagramming how relationships among clusters change as distance decreases or using agglomerative clustering starting with every image as its own separate cluster and gradually merging them together until only one remains.

How can you take advantage of clustering?

Would you need an end-to-end vector platform that incorporates all the state of the art clustering algorithms and workflows?

This is where RelevanceAI comes into play.

Book your platform demo here with our vector experts and learn how you can take the next steps.

Alternatively with knowledge of Python and Juypiter notebooks, you can create an account and get started today.

Clustering 101
Jacky Wong
April 12, 2022
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