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What is Cluster Analysis?

  • Cluster: A collection of data objects
    • similar (or related) to one another within the same group
    • dissimilar (or unrelated) to the objects in other groups
  • Cluster analysis (or clustering , data segmentation, … )
    • Finding similarities between data according to the characteristics found in the data and grouping similar data objects into clusters
  • Unsupervised learning: no predefined classes (i.e., learning by observations vs. learning by examples: supervised)
  • Typical applications
    • As a stand-alone tool to get insight into data distribution
    • As a preprocessing step for other algorithms

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