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Multi-class Graph Clustering via Approximated Effective $p$-Resistance

Shota Saito · Mark Herbster

Exhibit Hall 1 #713
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Abstract: This paper develops an approximation to the (effective) $p$-resistance and applies it to multi-class clustering. Spectral methods based on the graph Laplacian and its generalization to the graph $p$-Laplacian have been a backbone of non-euclidean clustering techniques. The advantage of the $p$-Laplacian is that the parameter $p$ induces a controllable bias on cluster structure. The drawback of $p$-Laplacian eigenvector based methods is that the third and higher eigenvectors are difficult to compute. Thus, instead, we are motivated to use the $p$-resistance induced by the $p$-Laplacian for clustering. For $p$-resistance, small $p$ biases towards clusters with high internal connectivity while large $p$ biases towards clusters of small ``extent,'' that is a preference for smaller shortest-path distances between vertices in the cluster. However, the $p$-resistance is expensive to compute. We overcome this by developing an approximation to the $p$-resistance. We prove upper and lower bounds on this approximation and observe that it is exact when the graph is a tree. We also provide theoretical justification for the use of $p$-resistance for clustering. Finally, we provide experiments comparing our approximated $p$-resistance clustering to other $p$-Laplacian based methods.

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