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OFAI-TR-96-23 ( 34kB g-zipped PostScript file)

Limitations of self-organizing maps for vector quantization and multi dimensional scaling

Arthur Flexer

The limitations of using self-organizing maps (SOM) for either clustering/vector quantization (VQ) or multi dimensional scaling (MDS) are being discussed by reviewing recent empirical findings and the relevant theory. SOM's remaining ability of doing both VQ and MDS at the same time is challenged by a new combined technique of adaptive K-means clustering plus Sammon mapping of the cluster centroids. SOM are shown to perform significantly worse in terms of quantization error, in recovering the structure of the clusters and in preserving the topology in a comprehensive empirical study using a series of multivariate normal clustering problems.

Citation: Flexer A.: Limitations of self-organizing maps for vector quantization and multidimensional scaling, in Mozer M.C. et al. (eds.), Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 9, MIT Press/Bradford Books, pp. 445-451, 1997.