Mechanical & Materials Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version



Applied Computational Intelligence and Soft Computing Volume 2009, Article ID 876361, 16 pages


Copyright © 2009 David J. Miller et al.

Open access



Fuzzy clustering algorithms are helpful when there exists a dataset with subgroupings of points having indistinct boundaries and overlap between the clusters. Traditional methods have been extensively studied and used on real-world data, but require users to have some knowledge of the outcome a priori in order to determine howmany clusters to look for. Additionally, iterative algorithms choose the optimal number of clusters based on one of several performance measures. In this study, the authors compare the performance of three algorithms (fuzzy c-means, Gustafson-Kessel, and an iterative version of Gustafson-Kessel) when clustering a traditional data set as well as real-world geophysics data that were collected from an archaeological site in Wyoming. Areas of interest in the were identified using a crisp cutoff value as well as a fuzzy α-cut to determine which provided better elimination of noise and non-relevant points. Results indicate that the α-cut method eliminates more noise than the crisp cutoff values and that the iterative version of the fuzzy clustering algorithm is able to select an optimum number of subclusters within a point set (in both the traditional and real-world data), leading to proper indication of regions of interest for further expert analysis.