Visualizing Cluster Structures and Their Changes over Time by Two-Step Application of Self-Organizing Maps

  • Masahiro Ishikawa
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7104)


In this paper, a novel method for visualizing cluster structures and their changes over time is proposed. Clustering is achieved by two-step application of self-organizing maps (SOMs). By two-step application of SOMs, each cluster is assigned an angle and a color. Similar clusters are assigned similar ones. By using colors and angles, cluster structures are visualized in several fashions. In those visualizations, it is easy to identify similar clusters and to see degrees of cluster separations. Thus, we can visually decide whether some clusters should be grouped or separated. Colors and angles are also used to make clusters in multiple datasets from different time periods comparable. Even if they belong to different periods, similar clusters are assigned similar colors and angles, thus it is easy to recognize that which cluster has grown or which one has diminished in time. As an example, the proposed method is applied to a collection of Japanese news articles. Experimental results show that the proposed method can clearly visualize cluster structures and their changes over time, even when multiple datasets from different time periods are concerned.


Clustering Visualization Self-Organizing Map Cluster Changes over Time 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masahiro Ishikawa
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Media and Communication StudiesTsukuba Int’l UniversityTsuchiuraJapan

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