General Purpose Computer-Assisted Clustering and Conceptualization
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CitationGrimmer, Justin, and Gary King. 2011. General Purpose Computer-Assisted Clustering and Conceptualization. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108, no. 7: 2643–2650.
AbstractWe develop a computer-assisted method for the discovery of insightful conceptualizations, in the form of clusterings (i.e., partitions) of input objects. Each of the numerous fully automated methods of cluster analysis proposed in statistics, computer science, and biology optimize a different objective function. Almost all are well defined, but how to determine before the fact which one, if any, will partition a given set of objects in an “insightful” or “useful” way for a given user is unknown and difficult, if not logically impossible. We develop a metric space of partitions from all existing cluster analysis methods applied to a given dataset (along with millions of other solutions we add based on combinations of existing clusterings) and enable a user to explore and interact with it and quickly reveal or prompt useful or insightful conceptualizations. In addition, although it is uncommon to do so in unsupervised learning problems, we offer and implement evaluation designs that make our computer-assisted approach vulnerable to being proven suboptimal in specific data types. We demonstrate that our approach facilitates more efficient and insightful discovery of useful information than expert human coders or many existing fully automated methods.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:12724038
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