Data-Driven Cluster Reinforcement and Visualization in Sparsely-Matched Self-Organizing Maps
IEEE transactions on neural networks and learning systems, 23, 846-852, 2012
Abstract: A self-organizing map (SOM) is a self-organized projection of high-dimensional data onto a typically 2-dimensional (2-D) feature map, wherein vector similarity is implicitly translated into topological closeness in the 2-D projection. However, when there are more neurons than input patterns, it can be challenging to interpret the results, due to diffuse cluster boundaries and limitations of current methods for displaying interneuron distances. In this brief, we introduce a new cluster reinforcement (CR) phase for sparsely-matched SOMs. The CR phase amplifies within-cluster similarity in an unsupervised, data-driven manner. Discontinuities in the resulting map correspond to between-cluster distances and are stored in a boundary (B) matrix. We describe a new hierarchical visualization of cluster boundaries displayed directly on feature maps, which requires no further clustering beyond what was implicitly accomplished during self-organization in SOM training. We use a synthetic benchmark problem and previously published microbial community profile data to demonstrate the benefits of the proposed methods.
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Bongard's work focuses on understanding the general nature of cognition, regardless of whether it is found in humans, animals or robots. This unique approach focuses on the role that morphology and evolution plays in cognition. Addressing these questions has taken him into the fields of biology, psychology, engineering and computer science.
Danforth is an applied mathematician interested in modeling a variety of physical, biological, and social phenomenon. He has applied principles of chaos theory to improve weather forecasts as a member of the Mathematics and Climate Research Network, and developed a real-time remote sensor of global happiness using messages from Twitter: the Hedonometer. Danforth co-runs the Computational Story Lab with Peter Dodds, and helps run UVM's reading group on complexity.
Laurent studies the interaction of structure and dynamics. His research involves network theory, statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics along with their applications in epidemiology, ecology, biology, and sociology. Recent projects include comparing complex networks of different nature, the coevolution of human behavior and infectious diseases, understanding the role of forest shape in determining stability of tropical forests, as well as the impact of echo chambers in political discussions.
Hines' work broadly focuses on finding ways to make electric energy more reliable, more affordable, with less environmental impact. Particular topics of interest include understanding the mechanisms by which small problems in the power grid become large blackouts, identifying and mitigating the stresses caused by large amounts of electric vehicle charging, and quantifying the impact of high penetrations of wind/solar on electricity systems.
Bagrow's interests include: Complex Networks (community detection, social modeling and human dynamics, statistical phenomena, graph similarity and isomorphism), Statistical Physics (non-equilibrium methods, phase transitions, percolation, interacting particle systems, spin glasses), and Optimization(glassy techniques such as simulated/quantum annealing, (non-gradient) minimization of noisy objective functions).