Ashwin Vaidya About
Originally Posted on 5th August 2018|Last Updated: 01 December 2023

K-Means Clustering

Table of Contents

What is it?

Suppose we have data of various users from a social media. The data might contain information regarding their friends, interests, posts, etc. This is an example of multidimensional data. Further, this data is unlabeled. Which means that we don’t know what we are looking for. Now, suppose we want to find some interesting pattern in this data, we can use a clustering technique. Clustering is basically grouping data points into various classes. One such method of clustering is k-means clustering. It is an unsupervised machine learning technique which helps us find hidden patterns. In K-means, k such clusters are created. In our social media example, one such pattern which might be revealed to us might be that people from a certain age group and in a particular area might share an interest in a particular genre of TV shows. This insight can be then used to target that demographic with some product or content.

Steps Pseudocode
1. Initialize k centroids.
Usually k random point in the dataset are selected as initial centroids
2. Compute distance from each data point(xi, yi) to each centroid.
Distance is calculated using Euclidian distance measure.
3. Assign the point to the centroid which is closest to it.
4. Now, compute the new centroid of each cluster.
5. Repeat steps from 2 till the centroids do not change or if they iterate between previous and next.

Kmeans animation


Using sklearn

from sklearn.cluster import KMeans

# Dummy data for this example
X = [[5.1,3.5],[4.9,3.0],[4.7,3.2],[4.6,3.1],[5.0,3.6],[5.4,3.9],[4.6,3.4],[5.0,3.4],[4.4,2.9],[4.9,3.1],[5.4,3.7],[4.8,3.4],[4.8,3.0],[4.3,3.0],[5.8,4.0],[5.7,4.4],[5.4,3.9],[5.1,3.5],[5.7,3.8],[5.1,3.8],[5.4,3.4],

model = KMeans(n_clusters=3) #n_clusters creates 3 clusters

labels = model.labels_ # stores the class labels for each datapoint. In this example label would be assigned from 0,1,2
centroids = model.cluster_centers_ #to plot each centroid. Not necessary

Few Notes


You can get the source code from GitHub