In this paper, we present a novel incremental clustering algorithm which assigns of a set of observations into clusters and learns the distance metric iteratively in an incremental manner. The proposed algorithm SOINN-AML is composed based on the Self-organizing Incremental Neural Network (Shen et al 2006), which represents the distribution of unlabeled data and reports a reasonable number of clusters. SOINN adopts a competitive Hebbian rule for each input signal, and distance between nodes is measured using the Euclidean distance. Such algorithms rely on the distance metric for the input data patterns. Distance Metric Learning (DML) learns a distance metric for the high dimensional input space of data that preserves the distance relation among the training data. DML is not performed for input space of data in SOINN based approaches. SOINN-AML learns input space of data by using the Adaptive Distance Metric Learning (AML) algorithm which is one of the DML algorithms. It improves the incremental clustering performance of the SOINN algorithm by optimizing the distance metric in the case that input data space is high dimensional. In experimental results, we evaluate the performance by using two artificial datasets, seven real datasets from the UCI dataset and three real image datasets. We have found that the proposed algorithm outperforms conventional algorithms including SOINN (Shen et al 2006) and Enhanced SOINN (Shen et al 2007). The improvement of clustering accuracy (NMI) is between 0.03 and 0.13 compared to state of the art SOINN based approaches.
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