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Morse Theory and an Impossibility Theorem for Graph Clustering

by   Fabio Strazzeri, et al.

Kleinberg introduced three natural clustering properties, or axioms, and showed they cannot be simultaneously satisfied by any clustering algorithm. We present a new clustering property, Monotonic Consistency, which avoids the well-known problematic behaviour of Kleinberg's Consistency axiom, and the impossibility result. Namely, we describe a clustering algorithm, Morse Clustering, inspired by Morse Theory in Differential Topology, which satisfies Kleinberg's original axioms with Consistency replaced by Monotonic Consistency. Morse clustering uncovers the underlying flow structure on a set or graph and returns a partition into trees representing basins of attraction of critical vertices. We also generalise Kleinberg's axiomatic approach to sparse graphs, showing an impossibility result for Consistency, and a possibility result for Monotonic Consistency and Morse clustering.


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