Symmetric Nonnegative Matrix Factorization for Graph Clustering

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Authors Da Kuang, Chris Ding, Haesun Park
Journal/Conference Name SDM 2012 2
Paper Category
Paper Abstract Nonnegative matrix factorization (NMF) provides a lower rank approximation of a nonnegative matrix, and has been successfully used as a clustering method. In this paper, we offer some conceptual understanding for the capabilities and shortcomings of NMF as a clustering method. Then, we propose Symmetric NMF (SymNMF) as a general framework for graph clustering, which inherits the advantages of NMF by enforcing nonnegativity on the clustering assignment matrix. Unlike NMF, however, SymNMF is based on a similarity measure between data points, and factorizes a symmetric matrix containing pairwise similarity values (not necessarily nonnegative). We compare SymNMF with the widely-used spectral clustering methods, and give an intuitive explanation of why SymNMF captures the cluster structure embedded in the graph representation more naturally. In addition, we develop a Newton-like algorithm that exploits second-order information efficiently, so as to show the feasibility of SymNMF as a practical framework for graph clustering. Our experiments on artificial graph data, text data, and image data demonstrate the substantially enhanced clustering quality of SymNMF over spectral clustering and NMF. Therefore, SymNMF is able to achieve better clustering results on both linear and nonlinear manifolds, and serves as a potential basis for many extensions and applications.
Date of publication 2012
Code Programming Language Python
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