Feature selection for clustering - A filter solution

Manoranjan Dash, Kiseok Choi, Peter Scheuermann, Huan Liu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

338 Scopus citations


Processing applications with a large number of dimensions has been a challenge to the KDD community. Feature selection, an effective dimensionality reduction technique, is an essential pre-processing method to remove noisy features. In the literature there are only a few methods proposed for feature selection for clustering. And, almost all of those methods are 'wrapper' techniques that require a clustering algorithm to evaluate the candidate feature subsets. The wrapper approach is largely unsuitable in real-world applications due to its heavy reliance on clustering algorithms that require parameters such as number of clusters, and due to lack of suitable clustering criteria to evaluate clustering in different subspaces. In this paper we propose 'filter' method that is independent of any clustering algorithm. The proposed method is based on the observation that data with clusters has very different point-to-point distance histogram than that of data without clusters. Using this we propose an entropy measure that is low if data has distinct clusters and high otherwise. The entropy measure is suitable for selecting the most important subset of features because it is invariant with number of dimensions, and is affected only by the quality of clustering. Extensive performance evaluation over synthetic, benchmark, and real datasets shows its effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2002 IEEE International Conference on Data Mining, ICDM 2002
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2002
Event2nd IEEE International Conference on Data Mining, ICDM '02 - Maebashi, Japan
Duration: Dec 9 2002Dec 12 2002

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE International Conference on Data Mining, ICDM
ISSN (Print)1550-4786


Other2nd IEEE International Conference on Data Mining, ICDM '02

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Feature selection for clustering - A filter solution'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this