Distributed Balanced Clustering via Mapping Coresets

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 27 (NIPS 2014)

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Mohammadhossein Bateni, Aditya Bhaskara, Silvio Lattanzi, Vahab Mirrokni


Large-scale clustering of data points in metric spaces is an important problem in mining big data sets. For many applications, we face explicit or implicit size constraints for each cluster which leads to the problem of clustering under capacity constraints or the balanced clustering'' problem. Although the balanced clustering problem has been widely studied, developing a theoretically sound distributed algorithm remains an open problem. In the present paper we develop a general framework based onmapping coresets'' to tackle this issue. For a wide range of clustering objective functions such as k-center, k-median, and k-means, our techniques give distributed algorithms for balanced clustering that match the best known single machine approximation ratios.