HE-Tree: A Framework for Detecting Changes in Clustering Structure for Categorical Data Streams

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Analyzing clustering structures in data streams can provide critical information for real-time decision making. Most research in this area has focused on clustering algorithms for numerical data streams, and very few have proposed to monitor the change of clustering structure. Most surprisingly, to our knowledge, no work has been proposed on monitoring clustering structure for categorical data streams. In this paper, we present a framework for detecting the change of primary clustering structure in categorical data streams, which is indicated by the change of the best number of clusters (Best K) in the data stream. The framework uses a Hierarchical Entropy Tree structure (HE-Tree) to capture the entropy characteristics of clusters in a data stream, and detects the change of Best K by combining our previously developed BKPlot method. The HE-Tree can efficiently summarize the entropy property of a categorical data stream and allow us to draw precise clustering information from the data stream for generating high-quality BKPlots. We also develop the time-decaying HE-Tree structure to make the monitoring more sensitive to recent changes of clustering structure. The experimental result shows that with the combination of the HE-Tree and the BKPlot method we are able to promptly and precisely detect the change of clustering structure in categorical data streams.


DOI: 10.1007/s00778-009-0134-5

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