Consensus Clustering: An Embedding Perspective, Extension and Beyond

Consensus clustering fuses diverse basic partitions (i.e., clustering results obtained from conventional clustering methods) into an integrated one, which has attracted increasing attention in both academic and industrial areas due to its robust and effective performance. Tremendous research efforts have been made to thrive this domain in terms of algorithms and applications. Although there are some survey papers to summarize the existing literature, they neglect to explore the underlying connection among different categories. Differently, in this paper we aim to provide an embedding prospective to illustrate the consensus mechanism, which transfers categorical basic partitions to other representations (e.g., binary coding, spectral embedding, etc) for the clustering purpose. To this end, we not only unify two major categories of consensus clustering, but also build an intuitive connection between consensus clustering and graph embedding. Moreover, we elaborate several extensions of classical consensus clustering from different settings and problems. Beyond this, we demonstrate how to leverage consensus clustering to address other tasks, such as constrained clustering, domain adaptation, feature selection, and outlier detection. Finally, we conclude this survey with future work in terms of interpretability, learnability and theoretical analysis.

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