Cluster center initialization algorithm for K-means clustering

Shehroz S. Khan, Amir Ahmad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

572 Citations (Scopus)


Performance of iterative clustering algorithms which converges to numerous local minima depend highly on initial cluster centers. Generally initial cluster centers are selected randomly. In this paper we propose an algorithm to compute initial cluster centers for K-means clustering. This algorithm is based on two observations that some of the patterns are very similar to each other and that is why they have same cluster membership irrespective to the choice of initial cluster centers. Also, an individual attribute may provide some information about initial cluster center. The initial cluster centers computed using this methodology are found to be very close to the desired cluster centers, for iterative clustering algorithms. This procedure is applicable to clustering algorithms for continuous data. We demonstrate the application of proposed algorithm to K-means clustering algorithm. The experimental results show improved and consistent solutions using the proposed algorithm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1293-1302
Number of pages10
JournalPattern Recognition Letters
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Cost function
  • Density based multiscale data condensation
  • Initial cluster centers
  • K-Means clustering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Artificial Intelligence


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