Improving Ultrametrics Embeddings Through Coresets

Vincent Cohen-Addad · RĂ©mi de Joannis de Verclos · Guillaume Lagarde

Keywords: [ Algorithms ] [ Clustering ]

Abstract: To tackle the curse of dimensionality in data analysis and unsupervised learning, it is critical to be able to efficiently compute ``simple'' faithful representations of the data that helps extract information, improves understanding and visualization of the structure. When the dataset consists of $d$-dimensional vectors, simple representations of the data may consist in trees or ultrametrics, and the goal is to best preserve the distances (i.e.: dissimilarity values) between data elements. To circumvent the quadratic running times of the most popular methods for fitting ultrametrics, such as average, single, or complete linkage,~\citet{CKL20} recently presented a new algorithm that for any $c \ge 1$, outputs in time $n^{1+O(1/c^2)}$ an ultrametric $\Delta$ such that for any two points $u, v$, $\Delta(u, v)$ is within a multiplicative factor of $5c$ to the distance between $u$ and $v$ in the ``best'' ultrametric representation. We improve the above result and show how to improve the above guarantee from $5c$ to $\sqrt{2}c + \varepsilon$ while achieving the same asymptotic running time. To complement the improved theoretical bound, we additionally show that the performances of our algorithm are significantly better for various real-world datasets.

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