K-means clustering

K-means clustering (e.g. Bow 1984) is a non-hierarchical clustering method. The number of clusters to use is specified by the user, usually according to some hypothesis such as there being two sexes, four geographical regions or three species in the data set

The cluster assignments are initially random. In an iterative procedure, items are then moved to the cluster which has the closest cluster mean, and the cluster means are updated accordingly. This continues until items are no longer "jumping" to other clusters. The result of the clustering is to some extent dependent upon the initial, random ordering, and cluster assignments may therefore differ from run to run. This is not a bug, but normal behaviour in k-means clustering.

The cluster assignments may be copied and pasted back into the main spreadsheet, and corresponding colors (symbols) assigned to the items using the 'Numbers to colors' option in the Edit menu.

Missing data supported by column average substitution.


Bow, S.-T. 1984. Pattern Recognition. Marcel Dekker, New York.

Published Aug. 31, 2020 10:08 PM - Last modified Aug. 31, 2020 10:08 PM