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Cross-Validation for Model Selection in Model-Based Clustering

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Title: Cross-Validation for Model Selection in Model-Based Clustering
Author: O'Reilly, Rachel
Department: Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Program: Applied Statistics
Advisor: Paul, McNicholas
Abstract: Clustering is a technique used to partition unlabelled data into meaningful groups. This thesis will focus on the area of clustering called model-based clustering, where it is assumed that data arise from a finite number of subpopulations, each of which follows a known statistical distribution. The number of groups and shape of each group is unknown in advance, and thus one of the most challenging aspects of clustering is selecting these features. Cross-validation is a model selection technique which is often used in regression and classification, because it tends to choose models that predict well, and are not over-fit to the data. However, it has rarely been applied in a clustering framework. Herein, cross-validation is applied to select the number of groups and covariance structure within a family of Gaussian mixture models. Results are presented for both real and simulated data.
Date: 2012-08
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