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Objective Criteria for the Evaluation of Clustering Methods

William M. Rand
Journal of the American Statistical Association
Vol. 66, No. 336 (Dec., 1971), pp. 846-850
DOI: 10.2307/2284239
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2284239
Page Count: 5
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Objective Criteria for the Evaluation of Clustering Methods
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Abstract

Many intuitively appealing methods have been suggested for clustering data, however, interpretation of their results has been hindered by the lack of objective criteria. This article proposes several criteria which isolate specific aspects of the performance of a method, such as its retrieval of inherent structure, its sensitivity to resampling and the stability of its results in the light of new data. These criteria depend on a measure of similarity between two different clusterings of the same set of data; the measure essentially considers how each pair of data points is assigned in each clustering.

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