A Fast Implementation of the ISOCLUS Algorithm

TitleA Fast Implementation of the ISOCLUS Algorithm
Publication TypeJournal Articles
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsMemarsadeghi N, Mount D, Netanyahu NS, LeMoigne J
JournalIEEE 2003 International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium
Date Published2003///
Keywordsalgorithms, Cluster Analysis, Data structures, HEURISTIC METHODS, IMAGE PROCESSING, INTEGERS, LANDSAT SATELLITES, MEAN SQUARE VALUES, Remote sensing

Unsupervised clustering is a fundamental building block in numerous image processing applications. One of the most popular and widely used clustering schemes for remote sensing applications is the ISOCLUS algorithm, which is based on the ISODATA method. The algorithm is given a set of n data points in d-dimensional space, an integer k indicating the initial number of clusters, and a number of additional parameters. The general goal is to compute the coordinates of a set of cluster centers in d-space, such that those centers minimize the mean squared distance from each data point to its nearest center. This clustering algorithm is similar to another well-known clustering method, called k-means. One significant feature of ISOCLUS over k-means is that the actual number of clusters reported might be fewer or more than the number supplied as part of the input. The algorithm uses different heuristics to determine whether to merge lor split clusters. As ISOCLUS can run very slowly, particularly on large data sets, there has been a growing .interest in the remote sensing community in computing it efficiently. We have developed a faster implementation of the ISOCLUS algorithm. Our improvement is based on a recent acceleration to the k-means algorithm of Kanungo, et al. They showed that, by using a kd-tree data structure for storing the data, it is possible to reduce the running time of k-means. We have adapted this method for the ISOCLUS algorithm, and we show that it is possible to achieve essentially the same results as ISOCLUS on large data sets, but with significantly lower running times. This adaptation involves computing a number of cluster statistics that are needed for ISOCLUS but not for k-means. Both the k-means and ISOCLUS algorithms are based on iterative schemes, in which nearest neighbors are calculated until some convergence criterion is satisfied. Each iteration requires that the nearest center for each data point be computed. Naively, this requires O(kn) time, where k denotes the current number of centers. Traditional techniques for accelerating nearest neighbor searching involve storing the k centers in a data structure. However, because of the iterative nature of the algorithm, this data structure would need to be rebuilt with each new iteration. Our approach is to store the data points in a kd-tree data structure. The assignment of points to nearest neighbors is carried out by a filtering process, which successively eliminates centers that can not possibly be the nearest neighbor for a given region of space. This algorithm is significantly faster, because large groups of data points can be assigned to their nearest center in a single operation. Preliminary results on a number of real Landsat datasets show that our revised ISOCLUS-like scheme runs about twice as fast.