17 kMeans
Learn how to use enhanced kMeans Clustering algorithm that the Oracle Data Mining supports.
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17.1 About kMeans
The kMeans algorithm is a distancebased clustering algorithm that partitions the data into a specified number of clusters.
Distancebased algorithms rely on a distance function to measure the similarity between cases. Cases are assigned to the nearest cluster according to the distance function used.
17.1.1 Oracle Data Mining Enhanced kMeans
Oracle Data Mining implements an enhanced version of the kMeans algorithm with the following features:

Distance function: The algorithm supports Euclidean and Cosine distance functions. The default is Euclidean.

Scalable Parallel Model build: The algorithm uses a very efficient method of initialization based on Bahmani, Bahman, et al. "Scalable kmeans++." Proceedings of the VLDB Endowment 5.7 (2012): 622633.

Cluster properties: For each cluster, the algorithm returns the centroid, a histogram for each attribute, and a rule describing the hyperbox that encloses the majority of the data assigned to the cluster. The centroid reports the mode for categorical attributes and the mean and variance for numerical attributes.
This approach to kMeans avoids the need for building multiple kMeans models and provides clustering results that are consistently superior to the traditional kMeans.
17.1.2 Centroid
The centroid represents the most typical case in a cluster. For example, in a data set of customer ages and incomes, the centroid of each cluster would be a customer of average age and average income in that cluster. The centroid is a prototype. It does not necessarily describe any given case assigned to the cluster.
The attribute values for the centroid are the mean of the numerical attributes and the mode of the categorical attributes.
17.2 kMeans Algorithm Configuration
Learn about configuring kmeans algorithm.
The Oracle Data Mining enhanced kMeans algorithm supports several buildtime settings. All the settings have default values. There is no reason to override the defaults unless you want to influence the behavior of the algorithm in some specific way.
You can configure kMeans by specifying the following considerations:

Number of clusters

Distance Function. The default distance function is Euclidean.
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17.3 Data Preparation for kMeans
Learn about preparing data for kmeans algorithm.
Normalization is typically required by the kMeans algorithm. Automatic Data Preparation performs normalization for kMeans. If you do not use ADP, you must normalize numeric attributes before creating or applying the model.
When there are missing values in columns with simple data types (not nested), kMeans interprets them as missing at random. The algorithm replaces missing categorical values with the mode and missing numerical values with the mean.
When there are missing values in nested columns, kMeans interprets them as sparse. The algorithm replaces sparse numerical data with zeros and sparse categorical data with zero vectors.