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Cluster Explanation via Polyhedral Descriptions

Connor Lawless · Oktay Gunluk

Exhibit Hall 1 #533
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This paper focuses on the cluster description problem where, given a dataset and its partition into clusters, the task is to explain the clusters. We introduce a new approach to explain clusters by constructing a polyhedron around each cluster while minimizing either the complexity of the resulting polyhedra or the number of features used in the description. We formulate the cluster description problem as an integer program and present a column generation approach to search over an exponential number of candidate half-spaces that can be used to build the polyhedra. To deal with large datasets, we introduce a novel grouping scheme that first forms smaller groups of data points and then builds the polyhedra around the grouped data, a strategy which out-performs the common approach of sub-sampling data. Compared to state of the art cluster description algorithms, our approach is able to achieve competitive interpretability with improved description accuracy.

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