Amortized Mixing Coupling Processes for Clustering

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 (NeurIPS 2022) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Huafeng Liu, Liping Jing


Considering the ever-increasing scale of data, which may contain tens of thousands of data points or complicated latent structures, the issue of scalability and algorithmic efficiency becomes of vital importance for clustering. In this paper, we propose cluster-wise amortized mixing coupling processes (AMCP), which is able to achieve efficient amortized clustering in a well-defined non-parametric Bayesian posterior. Specifically, AMCP learns clusters sequentially with the aid of the proposed intra-cluster mixing (IntraCM) and inter-cluster coupling (InterCC) strategies, which investigate the relationship between data points and reference distribution in a linear optimal transport mixing view, and coupling the unassigned set and assigned set to generate new cluster. IntraCM and InterCC avoid pairwise calculation of distances between clusters and reduce the computational complexity from quadratic to linear in the current number of clusters. Furthermore, cluster-wise sequential process is able to improve the quick adaptation ability for the next cluster generation. In this case, AMCP simultaneously learns what makes a cluster, how to group data points into clusters, and how to adaptively control the number of clusters. To illustrate the superiority of the proposed method, we perform experiments on both synthetic data and real-world data in terms of clustering performance and computational efficiency. The source code is available at