On the Complexity of Ordinal Clustering

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On the Complexity of Ordinal Clustering
Abstract. Given a set of pairwise distances on a set of n points, constructing an edge-weighted tree whose leaves are these n points such that the tree distances would mimic the original distances under some criteria is a fundamental problem. For example, this problem is sometimes called the heirarchical clustering problem. One distance preservation criterion is to preserve the total order of pairwise distances. We show that the problem of nding a weighted tree, if it exists, which would preserve the total order on pairwise distances is NP-hard. A partial order on pairwise distances between points in which orders all distances that share an end point, so that each point has a view of the other points that is consistent with the original distances, is called a triangle order, since it is equivalent to an order where this distances in each triangle are ordered. This order has been studied in biological settings. We also show the NP-hardness of the problem of nding the weighted tree which...
Rahul Shah, Martin Farach-Colton
Added 11 Dec 2010
Updated 11 Dec 2010
Type Journal
Year 2006
Authors Rahul Shah, Martin Farach-Colton
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