Applied Machine Learning pp 183-202 | Cite as

# Clustering Using Probability Models

## Abstract

Clustering objects requires some notion of how similar they are. We have seen how to cluster using distance in feature space, which is a natural way of thinking about similarity. Another way to think about similarity is to ask whether two objects have high probability under the same probability model. This can be a convenient way of looking at things when it is easier to build probability models than it is to measure distances. It turns out to be a natural way of obtaining soft clustering weights (which emerge from the probability model). And it provides a framework for our first encounter with an extremely powerful and general algorithm, which you should see as a very aggressive generalization of k-means.