ClusterNet: A Perception-Based Clustering Model for Scattered Data

Sebastian Hartwig

Ulm University

Pedro Hermosilla

Ulm University

Timo Ropinski

Ulm University 2023


Cluster separation in scatterplots is a task that is typically tackled by widely used clustering techniques, such as for instance k-means or DBSCAN. However, as these algorithms are based on non-perceptual metrics, their output often does not reflect human cluster perception. To bridge the gap between human cluster perception and machine-computed clusters, we propose a learning strategy which directly operates on scattered data. To learn perceptual cluster separation on this data, we crowdsourced a large scale dataset, consisting of 7,320 point-wise cluster affiliations for bivariate data, which has been labeled by 384 human crowd workers. Based on this data, we were able to train ClusterNet, a point-based deep learning model, trained to reflect human perception of cluster separability. In order to train ClusterNet on human annotated data, we omit rendering scatterplots on a 2D canvas, but rather use a PointNet++ architecture enabling inference on point clouds directly. In this work, we provide details on how we collected our dataset, report statistics of the resulting annotations, and investigate perceptual agreement of cluster separation for real-world data. We further report the training and evaluation protocol of ClusterNet and introduce a novel metric, that measures the accuracy between a clustering technique and a group of human annotators. Finally, we compare our approach against existing state-of-the-art clustering techniques.


	title={ClusterNet: A Perception-Based Clustering Model for Scattered Data},
	author={Hartwig, Sebastian and van Onzenoodt, Christian and Hermosilla, Pedro and Ropinski, Timo},
	journal={arxiv preprint arXiv:}