Generalized Model Selection for Unsupervised Learning in High Dimensions

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 12 (NIPS 1999)

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Shivakumar Vaithyanathan, Byron Dom


We describe a Bayesian approach to model selection in unsupervised learning that determines both the feature set and the number of clusters. We then evaluate this scheme (based on marginal likelihood) and one based on cross-validated likelihood. For the Bayesian scheme we derive a closed-form solution of the marginal likelihood by assuming appropriate forms of the likelihood function and prior. Extensive experiments compare these approaches and all results are verified by comparison against ground truth. In these experiments the Bayesian scheme using our objective function gave better results than cross-validation.