Optimal Scoring for Unsupervised Learning

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 22 (NIPS 2009)

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Zhihua Zhang, Guang Dai


We are often interested in casting classification and clustering problems in a regression framework, because it is feasible to achieve some statistical properties in this framework by imposing some penalty criteria. In this paper we illustrate optimal scoring, which was originally proposed for performing Fisher linear discriminant analysis by regression, in the application of unsupervised learning. In particular, we devise a novel clustering algorithm that we call optimal discriminant clustering (ODC). We associate our algorithm with the existing unsupervised learning algorithms such as spectral clustering, discriminative clustering and sparse principal component analysis. Thus, our work shows that optimal scoring provides a new approach to the implementation of unsupervised learning. This approach facilitates the development of new unsupervised learning algorithms.