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A stability based method for discovering structure in clustered data.

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  • 1BioWulf Technologies LLC, 2030 Addison st. Suite 102, Berkeley, CA 94704, USA.


We present a method for visually and quantitatively assessing the presence of structure in clustered data. The method exploits measurements of the stability of clustering solutions obtained by perturbing the data set. Stability is characterized by the distribution of pairwise similarities between clusterings obtained from sub samples of the data. High pairwise similarities indicate a stable clustering pattern. The method can be used with any clustering algorithm; it provides a means of rationally defining an optimum number of clusters, and can also detect the lack of structure in data. We show results on artificial and microarray data using a hierarchical clustering algorithm.

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