Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Bridges, Susan M.

Committee Member

Dampier, David A.

Committee Member

Allen, Edward B.

Committee Member

Hansen, Eric A.

Committee Member

Hodges, Julia E.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Computer Science

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Computer Science and Engineering


Traditional clustering is typically based on a single feature set. In some domains, several feature sets may be available to represent the same objects, but it may not be easy to compute a useful and effective integrated feature set. We hypothesize that clustering individual datasets and then combining them using a suitable ensemble algorithm will yield better quality clusters compared to the individual clustering or clustering based on an integrated feature set. We present two classes of algorithms to address the problem of combining the results of clustering obtained from multiple related datasets where the datasets represent identical or overlapping sets of objects but use different feature sets. One class of algorithms was developed for combining hierarchical clustering generated from multiple datasets and another class of algorithms was developed for combining partitional clustering generated from multiple datasets. The first class of algorithms, called EPaCH, are based on graph-theoretic principles and use the association strengths of objects in the individual cluster hierarchies. The second class of algorithms, called CEMENT, use an EM (Expectation Maximization) approach to progressively refine the individual clusterings until the mutual entropy between them converges toward a maximum. We have applied our methods to the problem of clustering a document collection consisting of journal abstracts from ten different Library of Congress categories. After several natural language preprocessing steps, both syntactic and semantic feature sets were extracted. We present empirical results that include the comparison of our algorithms with several baseline clustering schemes using different cluster validation indices. We also present the results of one-tailed paired emph{T}-tests performed on cluster qualities. Our methods are shown to yield higher quality clusters than the baseline clustering schemes that include the clustering based on individual feature sets and clustering based on concatenated feature sets. When the sets of objects represented in two datasets are overlapping but not identical, our algorithms outperform all baseline methods for all indices.