Determining the number of clusters/segments in hierarchical clustering/segmentation algorithms
Chan, Philip K.
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We investigate techniques to automatically determine the number of clusters to return from hierarchical clustering and segmentation algorithms. We propose an efficient algorithm, the L Method, that finds the "knee" in a '# of clusters vs. clustering evaluation metric' graph. Using the knee is well-known but is not a particularly well-understood method to determine the number of clusters. We explore the feasibility of this method, and attempt to determine in which situations it will and will not work.