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Clustering with Semidefinite Programming and Fixed Point Iteration

Pedro Felzenszwalb, Caroline Klivans, Alice Paul; 23(190):1−23, 2022.


We introduce a novel method for clustering using a semidefinite programming (SDP) relaxation of the Max k-Cut problem. The approach is based on a new methodology for rounding the solution of an SDP relaxation using iterated linear optimization. We show the vertices of the Max k-Cut relaxation correspond to partitions of the data into at most k sets. We also show the vertices are attractive fixed points of iterated linear optimization. Each step of this iterative process solves a relaxation of the closest vertex problem and leads to a new clustering problem where the underlying clusters are more clearly defined. Our experiments show that using fixed point iteration for rounding the Max k-Cut SDP relaxation leads to significantly better results when compared to randomized rounding.

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