Comparing Model Selection and Regularization Approaches to Variable Selection in Model-Based Clustering


  • Gilles Celeux
  • Marie-Laure Martin-Magniette
  • Cathy Maugis-Rabusseau
  • Adrian E. Raftery


We compare two major approaches to variable selection in clustering: model selection and regularization. Based on previous results, we select the method of Maugis et al. (2009b), which modified the method of Raftery and Dean (2006), as a current state of the art model selection method. We select the method of Witten and Tibshirani (2010) as a current state of the art regularization method. We compared the methods by simulation in terms of their accuracy in both classification and variable selection. In the first simulation experiment all the variables were conditionally independent given cluster membership. We found that variable selection (of either kind) yielded substantial gains in classification accuracy when the clusters were well separated, but few gains when the clusters were close together. We found that the two variable selection methods had comparable classification accuracy, but that the model selection approach had substantially better accuracy in selecting variables. In our second simulation experiment, there were correlations among the variables given the cluster memberships. We found that the model selection approach was substantially more accurate in terms of both classification and variable selection than the regularization approach, and that both gave more accurate classifications than K-means without variable selection. But the model selection approach is not available in a very high dimension context.






Numéro spécial : analyse des données en grande dimension