Approximate Graph Laplacians for Multimodal Data Clustering

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Research Article

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IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence


One of the important approaches of handling data heterogeneity in multimodal data clustering is modeling each modality using a separate similarity graph. Information from the multiple graphs is integrated by combining them into a unified graph. A major challenge here is how to preserve cluster information while removing noise from individual graphs. In this regard, a novel algorithm, termed as CoALa, is proposed that integrates noise-free approximations of multiple similarity graphs. The proposed method first approximates a graph using the most informative eigenpairs of its Laplacian which contain cluster information. The approximate Laplacians are then integrated for the construction of a low-rank subspace that best preserves overall cluster information of multiple graphs. However, this approximate subspace differs from the full-rank subspace which integrates information from all the eigenpairs of each Laplacian. Matrix perturbation theory is used to theoretically evaluate how far approximate subspace deviates from the full-rank one for a given value of approximation rank. Finally, spectral clustering is performed on the approximate subspace to identify the clusters. Experimental results on several real-life cancer and benchmark data sets demonstrate that the proposed algorithm significantly and consistently outperforms state-of-the-art integrative clustering approaches.

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