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journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/swevo

Review

for partitional clustering

Satyasai Jagannath Nanda a,n, Ganapati Panda b

a

b

Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering, Malaviya National Institute of Technology Jaipur, Rajasthan 302017, India

School of Electrical Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Bhubaneswar, Odisha 751013, India

art ic l e i nf o

a b s t r a c t

Article history:

Received 10 October 2012

Received in revised form

23 August 2013

Accepted 20 November 2013

The partitional clustering concept started with K-means algorithm which was published in 1957. Since

then many classical partitional clustering algorithms have been reported based on gradient descent

approach. The 1990 kick started a new era in cluster analysis with the application of nature inspired

metaheuristics. After initial formulation nearly two decades have passed and researchers have developed

numerous new algorithms in this eld. This paper embodies an up-to-date review of all major nature

inspired metaheuristic algorithms employed till date for partitional clustering. Further, key issues

involved during formulation of various metaheuristics as a clustering problem and major application

areas are discussed.

& 2014 Published by Elsevier B.V.

Keywords:

Partitional clustering

Nature inspired metaheuristics

Evolutionary algorithms

Swarm intelligence

Multi-objective Clustering

Contents

1.

2.

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Single objective nature inspired metaheuristics in partitional clustering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

2.1.

Problem formulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

2.2.

Historical developments in nature inspired metaheuristics for partitional clustering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

2.2.1.

Evolutionary algorithms in partitional clustering. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

2.2.2.

Physical algorithms in partitional clustering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

2.2.3.

Swarm Intelligence algorithms in partitional clustering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

2.2.4.

Bio-inspired algorithms in partitional clustering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

2.2.5.

Other nature inspired metaheuristics for partitional clustering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

2.3.

Fitness functions for partitional clustering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

2.4.

Cluster validity indices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

3. Multi-objective algorithms for exible clustering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

3.1.

Problem formulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

3.2.

Historical development in multi-objective algorithms for partitional clustering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

3.3.

Evaluation methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

4. Real life application areas of nature inspired metaheuristics based partitional clustering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

5. Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

6. Future research issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Corresponding author.

E-mail addresses: nanda.satyasai@gmail.com (S.J. Nanda), ganapati.panda@gmail.com (G. Panda).

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.swevo.2013.11.003

Please cite this article as: S.J. Nanda, G. Panda, A survey on nature inspired metaheuristic algorithms for partitional clustering, Swarm

and Evolutionary Computation (2014), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.swevo.2013.11.003i

1. Introduction

Data clustering determines a group of patterns in a dataset

which are homogeneous in nature. The objective is to develop an

automatic algorithm which can accurately classify an unleveled

dataset into groups. Recent literature [15] broadly classies

clustering algorithms into three categories: hierarchical, partitional and overlapping. The hierarchical algorithms provide a tree

structure output (dendrogram plot) which represent the nested

grouping of the elements of a dataset [6,7]. They do not require a

priori knowledge about the number of clusters present in the

dataset [8,9]. However the process involved in the algorithm is

assumed to be static and elements assigned to a given cluster

cannot move to other clusters [10]. Therefore they exhibit poor

performance when the separation of overlapping clusters is

carried out.

The overlapping nature of clusters is better expressed in fuzzy

clustering [1113]. The popular algorithms include fuzzy c-means

(FCM) [14] and fuzzy c-shells algorithm (FCS) [15]. In this approach

each element of a dataset belongs to all the clusters with a fuzzy

membership grade. The fuzzy clustering can be converted to a

crisp clustering (any element belongs to one cluster only) by

assigning each element to the cluster with highest measure of

membership value.

The partitional clustering divides a dataset into a number of

groups based upon certain criterion known as tness measure. The

tness measure directly affects the nature of formation of clusters.

Once an appropriate tness measure is selected the partitioning

task is converted into an optimization problem (example: grouping based on minimization of distance or maximization of correlation between patterns, otherwise optimizing their density in the N

dimensional space etc.). These partitional techniques are popular

in various research elds due to their capability to cluster large

datasets (example: in signal and image processing for image

segmentation [16], in wireless sensor network for classifying the

sensors to enhance lifetime and coverage [1720], in communication to design accurate blind equalizers [21], in robotics to

efciently classify the humans based upon their activities [22], in

computer science for web mining and pattern recognition [23], in

economics research to identify the group of homogeneous consumers [24], in management studies to determine the portfolio

[27], in seismology to classify the aftershocks from the regular

background events [28], to perform high dimensional data analysis

[29], in medical sciences to identify diseases from a group of

patient reports and genomic studies [30], in library sciences for

grouping books based upon the content [32], etc.). In all these

applications the nature of patterns associated with the datasets is

different from each other. Therefore a single partitional algorithm

cannot universally solve all problems. Thus given a problem in

hand an user has to carefully investigate the nature of the patterns

associated with the dataset and select the appropriate clustering

strategy.

The K-means algorithm is the most fundamental partitional

clustering concept which was published by Lloyd of Bell Telephone

laboratories in 1957 [373375]. After 50 years of its existence, till

date this algorithm is still popular and widely used for high

dimensional datasets due to its simplicity and lower computational complexity [34,376,377]. In this case the minimization of

Euclidean distance between elements and cluster center is considered as optimization criterion. Inspired by K-means a number of

gradient algorithms for partitional clustering are developed by

researchers which include bisecting K-means [35] (recursively

dividing the dataset into two clusters in each step), sort-means

[36] (means are shortened in the order of increasing distance from

each mean to speed up the traditional process), kd-tree [37]

(determines the closest cluster centers for all the data points),

optimizing a criterion such as Akaike Information Criterion (AIC)

or Bayesian Information Criterion (BIC)), k-harmonic means [39]

(instead of minimum of Euclidean distance the harmonic mean is

taken), k-modes algorithm [40,41] (selects k initial modes instead

of centers, followed by allocating every object to the nearest

mode), Kernel K-means [42] (to detect arbitrary shaped clusters,

with proper choice of the kernel function), K-medoid [43] (cluster

center is represented by median of the data instead of the mean).

These algorithms are computationally simpler, but are often

trapped into local optimums due to hill-climbing approach (of

cluster center moment in case of K-means). On the other hand, the

nature inspired metaheuristics employ a population to explore the

search space and thus ensure greater probability to achieve

optimal cluster partitions.

Literature review [44,45] reveals the recent trend to name all

stochastic algorithms with randomization and local search as

metaheuristic. The randomization process generates arbitrary

solutions, which explore the search space and are responsible to

achieve global solution. The local search is responsible to determine convergence and focus on achieving good solutions in a

specic region. The rst nature inspired metaheuristic is genetic

algorithm (GA) developed by Holland and his colleagues in 1975

[46,47]. It is followed by development of simulated annealing (SA)

by Kirkpatrick in 1983 [48]. Recent literature reports many

established nature inspired metaheuristics which are enlisted in

Table 1. These algorithms are broadly classied into Evolutionary

Algorithms, Physical Algorithms, Swarm Intelligence, Bio-inspired

Algorithms and others. Table 1 lists these algorithms which are

further divided into single objective and multi-objectives depending on the number of objective functions that they simultaneously

optimize to achieve the solution.

The fundamental approach to develop nature inspired metaheuristics based clustering algorithm using simulated annealing

was proposed by Selim and Alsultan [159] in 1991. Then Bezdek

et al. [100] proposed the evolutionary approach to develop

clustering using genetic algorithm in 1994. The research article

by Sarkar and Yegnarayana [101] highlights the core issues

involved in evolutionary programming for development of clustering algorithm. Lumer and Faieta rst explored the use of swarm

nature of clustering ants [191]. Subsequently the swarm intelligence algorithms like ant colony optimization [183] and particle

swarm optimization [219] have been applied for cluster analysis.

This paper presents an in-depth survey of nature inspired

metaheuristic algorithms used for partitional clustering. The paper

focuses on the nature inspired metaheuristics that have been used

for cluster analysis in the last two decades. Few interesting review

articles on cluster analysis with overwhelming citation by

researchers have been published by Jain et al. [34], Hruschka

et al. [3], Xu and Wunsch [91], Freitas [92], Paterlini and Minerva

[93], Jafar and Sivakumar [94]. To the best of our knowledge a

review paper employing recently developed nature inspired

metaheuristics for partitional clustering has not been reported.

In 2009 Hruschka et al. [3] have focused on the initialization

procedures, crossover, mutation, tness evaluation and reselection

associated with genetic type evolutionary algorithms for single

and multiobjective cases. Jain et al. [34] have dealt with key issues

of clustering, users dilemma and have suggested corresponding

solutions. Jafar and Sivakumar [94] highlighted the developments

in ant algorithm for cluster analysis. The book chapter by Abraham

et al. [4] focuses on the use of PSO and ant algorithm for clustering

task. The basic principles and methods of clustering are embodied

in the books [1,9599].

Keeping the current research trends in mind the present paper

contributes in the survey of partitional clustering in terms of four

aspects: (1) systematic review on all the single objective nature

Please cite this article as: S.J. Nanda, G. Panda, A survey on nature inspired metaheuristic algorithms for partitional clustering, Swarm

and Evolutionary Computation (2014), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.swevo.2013.11.003i

Table 1

Broad classication of nature inspired metaheuristic algorithms.

Types

Single objective

Multi-objective

Evolutionary algorithms

Differential Evolution (DE) [5358]

Genetic Programming (GP) [52]

Evolutionary Strategy (ES) [51139]

Granular agent evolutionary algo. [358]

NSGA II [305,306],

Multi-objective DE [343]

Multi-objective GP [317]

Multi-objective ES [318]

SPEA [326], PESA II [325]

Physical algorithms

Memetic Algorithm (MA) [167170]

Harmony Search (HS) [173,174]

Shufed Frog-Leaping algo. (SFL) [179]

Multi-objective

Multi-objective

Multi-objective

Multi-objective

SA [313]

MA [314]

HS [315]

SFL [316]

Swarm intelligence

Particle Swarm Opt. (PSO) [6872]

Articial Bee Colony (ABC) [7377]

Fish Swarm algo. (FSA) [254,255]

Multi-objective

Multi-objective

Multi-objective

Multi-objective

ACO [333]

PSO [307]

ABC [310]

FSA [321]

Bio-inspired algorithms

Bacterial Foraging Opt. (BFO) [84,85]

Dendritic Cell algo. [87,88]

Krill herd algo. [356]

Multi-objective BFO [309]

Cuckoo Search algo. [272274]

Firey algo. [275277]

Invasive Weed Opt. algo. (IWO)[280]

Gravitational Search algo. [285,286]

River formation dynamics [357]

Bat algorithm [359,360]

Multi-objective

Multi-objective

Multi-objective

Multi-objective

Multi-objective

CSO [311]

Cuckoo [319]

Firey [312]

IWO [283]

GSA [320]

inspired metaheuristics used in partitional clustering, (2) up-todate survey on exible partitional clustering based on multiobjective metaheuristic algorithms, (3) consolidation of recently

developed cluster validation majors, and (4) exploration of the

new application areas of partitional clustering algorithms.

The paper is organized as follows. Section 2 deals with the

advances in single objective nature inspired metaheuristics for

partitional clustering, which includes recent developments in

algorithm design, tness functions selection and cluster validity

indices used for verication. The multi-objective metaheuristics

used for exible clustering are discussed in Section 3. The real life

application areas of nature inspired partitional clustering are

highlighted in Section 4. Finally the concluding remarks of

investigation made in the survey are presented in Section 5.

A number of issues on innovative future research are presented

in Section 7.

for partitional clustering

partitional clustering

The evolutionary algorithms are inspired by Darwin theory of

natural selection which is based on survival of ttest candidate for

a given environment. These algorithms begin with a population

(set of solutions) which tries to survive in an environment

(dened with tness evaluation). The parent population shares

their properties of adaptation to the environment to the children

with various mechanisms of evolution such as genetic crossover

and mutation. The process continues over a number of generations

(iterative process) till the solutions are found to be most suitable

for the environment. With this concept in mind initially Holland

proposed the Genetic Algorithm (GA) in 1975 [46,47]. It is followed

by development of Evolution Strategies (ES) by Schwefel in 1981

[4951] and Genetic Programming (GP) by Koza [52] in 1992. Storn

and Price developed another evolutionary concept in 1997 termed

as Differential Evolution (DE) [53]. The books [54,150] on DE,

research work on adaptive DE [55,56] and opposition-based DE

[57,58] made the DE quite popular amongst researchers. The

application of these evolutionary algorithms to partitional clustering is outlined below.

Given an unleveled dataset Z ND fz1D ; z2D ; ; zND g representing N patterns, each having D features, partitional approach

aims to cluster the dataset into K groups K r N such that

Ck a

8 k 1; 2; ; K;

Ck \ Cl

8 k; l 1; 2; K and k a l; C k Z:

k1

elements present in the dataset. If f denotes the tness function

then the clustering task is viewed as an optimization problem as

Optimize

Ck

f Z ND ; C k

8 k 1; 2; ; K

single objective nature inspired metaheuristic algorithms.

In the last two decades a number of nature inspired metaheuristics have been proposed in the literature and applied to many

real life applications. In recent years to solve various unsupervised

optimization problems the metaheuristic algorithms are successfully used. Present stage for any unsupervised optimization problem in hand an user can easily pick up a suitable metaheuristic

algorithm for solving the purpose. The solution achieved ensures

optimality as these population based algorithms explore the entire

search space with the progress in generations.

The basic steps associated with the core algorithms for partitional clustering are listed in Table 2. The recent works on

partitional clustering are outlined in sequence.

Please cite this article as: S.J. Nanda, G. Panda, A survey on nature inspired metaheuristic algorithms for partitional clustering, Swarm

and Evolutionary Computation (2014), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.swevo.2013.11.003i

Table 2

Basic steps involved in single objective standard GA, DE, ACO, PSO, ABC, AIS and BFO algorithms for solving partitional clustering problem.

GA

Initialize

Chromos.

DE

Initialize

Particles

ACO

Initialize

Ants

PSO

Initialize

Particles

ABC

Initialize

Bees

AIS

Initialize

Immune Cells

BFO

Initialize

Bacteria

(

+

)

Next Generation

Crossover

Mutation

(

+

)

Next Generation

Mutation

Crossover

(

+

)

Next Generation

Fitness

Update Pheromone

Intensity

(

+

)

Next Generation

Vel. update

Pos. update

Compute

GBst & PBst

Next Generation

Compute

Emp. Bees

Greedy Selection

& Fitness

(

+

)

Next Generation

Fitness

Clone

(

+

)

Next Generation

Chemotaxis

Swarming

(

+

)

of basic genetic algorithm for partitional clustering. The standard

binary encoding scheme with xed number of cluster centers

(k) is used for initialization of chromosomes [100102]. The reproduction operation is carried out using uniform crossover and

cluster-oriented mutation (altering the bits of binary string).

Subsequently integer based encoding of chromosomes is used

by Murthy and Chowdhury [103]. They suggested the use of single

point crossover and XiaofengPalmieri based mutation scheme

[104] for reproduction. However theoretically this mutation may

produce invalid offsprings. Maulik and Bandyopadhyay have

proposed the use of real coded genetic algorithm for partitional

clustering [105]. With real coding the computational complexity is

reduced to O(k) compared to O(nk) associated with integer or

binary encoding. A genetic K-mean algorithm is proposed in [106]

which replaces the crossover phenomenon by the basic search

operation with K-means. Based on this concept Lu et al. have

developed fast genetic K-means [108] and incremental genetic kmeans [109] algorithms for gene expression data analysis. Similarly Sheng and Liu [107] have proposed a genetic based hybrid

K-medoid algorithm for accurate clustering of large databases.

All these algorithms are based on a xed number of clusters.

These algorithms work satisfactorily when the suitable number of

partitions for a dataset is known a priori. But in many practical

scenarios the value of K (number of clusters) is unknown to user. The

K value directly affects the partition quality, therefore it is necessary

that the clustering algorithm should explore the number of partitions

along with the process of optimization. Cowgill et al. [110] have

developed a hybrid algorithm COWCLUS which rst uses nondeterministic genetic algorithm based approach to determine the

Fitness

Fitness

Drop or

Peak

Fitness

Onlooker

Bees

Mutation

Reproduction

Selection

Selection

Short

Memory

Selection

Selection

Selection

Eliminat.

& Dispers.

(

*

)

(

*

)

(

*

)

(

*

)

(

*

)

(

*

)

(

*

)

Cl.

O/p

Cl.

O/p

Cl.

O/p

Cl.

O/p

Cl.

O/p

Cl.

O/p

Cl.

O/p

partitions to produce the nal best partition. Tseng and Yang [111]

have proposed the automatic evolution of clusters with genetic

algorithm. In [112,113] Bandopadhay and Maulik have developed

nonparametric genetic algorithm for automatic selection of number

of partitions K. Based upon this concept a self-adaptive genetic

algorithm for cluster analysis is reported in [125]. Recently a

quantum inspired genetic algorithm for k-means clustering is proposed by Xiao et al. [128] which reports superior performance than

that obtained in [112,113]. The automatic evolution of clusters has

been successfully applied to image classication [113], document

clustering [115], intrusion detection [116], microarray [117] and geneexpression data analyses [118120].

In genetic based evolutionary approaches normally a population is

initialized where each individual searches for the optimal weight

vector for all the clusters. Gancarski and Blansche [126,127] developed co-evolutionary approaches (unlike evolutionary here several

populations are employed and each population searches for a local

weight vector for a cluster) based upon Darwinian theory, Lamarckian theory and Baldwin effect for feature weighting in K-means

algorithms. Based upon the three theories they proposed six genetic

approaches for feature weighting in K-means (three based on

evolutionary scheme DE-LKM, LE-LKM and BE-LKM and three coevolutionary schemes DC-LKM, LC-LKM and BC-LKM). They reported

that the co-evolutionary based approach for cluster analysis provides

superior performance than the traditional evolutionary based ones.

Intuitively hybrid evolutionary algorithms (formulated by combining the good features of two individual parent processes)

provide superior performance than the conventional parent algorithms. A hybrid of GA and PSO based algorithm is developed in

[129] for order clustering to reduce the surface mount technology

and Evolutionary Computation (2014), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.swevo.2013.11.003i

(SMT) setup time. Feng-jie and Ye [130] applied the GA and PSO

based hybrid clustering algorithm for image segmentation of

transmission lines picture to determine the faults. This system is

helpful for remote video monitoring. Hong and Kwong [131]

combined steady-state genetic algorithm and ensemble learning

for cluster analysis. Chaves and Lorenab [132] developed a hybrid

algorithm Clustering Search (consisting of GA along with local

search heuristic) to solve capacitated centered clustering problem.

Recently a two stage genetic algorithm was proposed by He et al.

[134] for cluster analysis in which two-stage selection and mutation operations are incorporated to enhance the search capability

of the algorithm. The two stage genetic algorithm provides

accurate results compared to agglomerative k-means [133] and

standard genetic k-means algorithms. A grouping genetic algorithm (GGA) is a compact one proposed by Falkenauer [135] to

handle grouping-based problems. The GGA is successfully used for

cluster analysis of benchmark UCI datasets in [136]. Recently Tan

et al. [137] applied the GGA based clustering technique to improve

the spectral efciency of OFDMA (orthogonal frequency-division

multiple access) based multicast systems.

have used the minimization of WGSS (within group sum of

squared error) objective function for partitional clustering and

minimization of FCM (fuzzy C-means) objective functions for

fuzzy clustering. The paper by Beyer and Schwefel [139] discusses

the fundamental and recent advancements in partitional clustering with ES. Hybrid partitional clustering algorithm based on Kmeans and ES is developed in [140]. It is observed that the hybrid

algorithms provide better performance than the regular ES on

cluster analysis of benchmark UCI datasets. The ES based partitional clustering has been suitably used for cluster analysis of DNA

microarray database [141].

GP-based approaches: The GP is related to GA, where it automatically generates computer programs, based on the Darwin

principle. Each individual computer program is a solution to

the optimization problem and is encoded in the form of a tree

comprising functions and terminals. The GP has been widely

used for supervised classication problem and it is reported

that the trees generated by GP have capability to separate

regions with varieties of shapes [142144]. Falco et al. [145,146]

developed the partitional clustering algorithm based on GP. The

algorithm starts with a population of program trees generated

at random. The algorithm determines the optimal number of

clusters by selecting a variable number of trees per individual.

The user has to provide a parameter that directly inuences the

number of clusters present in the dataset. The trees undergo

tness evaluation and those having higher tness have the

higher probability to serve as parents for next generation. The

genetic operators like crossover and mutation are applied on

the parent trees to generate offspring. The process continues

till a predened stopping criteria corresponding to the optimal

cluster partition get satised. Boric et al. [147] modied the GP

based partitional clustering with an information theoretic

tness measure which can determine arbitrary shape clusters

present in the dataset.

DE-based approaches: The book on Metaheuristic Clustering by

Das et al. [2] in 2009 discusses the fundamental as well as the

advances in DE approaches for cluster analysis [150]. In case of

DE based clustering the individual target solutions (which

combines to create a population P) are taken as parameter

vectors or genomes. Each target vector xi mi1 ; mi2 ; ;

mik ; ; miK , where mik is the centroid of cluster cik and K

represents the number of clusters. Then DE employs the

mutation operation to produce a mutant vector vi. The ve

v1;i xr1 ;i F xr2 ;i xr3 ;i

v2;i xbest F xr1 ;i xr2 ;i

v3;i xi F xbest;i xi F xr1 ;i xr2 ;i

v4;i xbest F xr1 ;i xr2 ;i F xr3 ;i xr4 ;i

v5;i xr1 ;i F xr2 ;i xr3 ;i F xr4 ;i xr5 ;i

exclusive integers randomly generated within the range [1, P].

The scale factor F is a control parameter used for amplication

of difference vector, normally lies in range [0,2]. Then a crossover operation is applied to each pair of the target vector xi and

its corresponding mutant vector vi to obtain a trial vector ui as

(

vi if rand1 rCR or i irand

ui

4

8 i 1; 2; ; P

xi Otherwise;

where rand1 is a random number in [0,1]. The crossover rate CR

is an user dened constant in the range [0,1]. The irand is a

randomly chosen integer in the range [1, P]. The tness of all

target vector xi and trail vector ui is evaluated using one of the

tness functions dened in Table 3. Then the population for

next generation is given by

( t

ui if f uti r f xti

xti 1

5

8 i 1; 2; ; P

xti Otherwise;

where t is the number of generation. The algorithm run for

certain number of generations till the algorithm converges and

the optimum clusters are achieved.

The benchmark research article on DE based automatic clustering

[16] is published in 2008 by Das et al. Prior to that the DE based

framework introduced for partitional clustering by Paterlini and

Krink [148,149] is worth mentioning. Further research work by Das

et al. deals with hybridization of Kernel-based clustering with DE

[151] and application of DE based clustering algorithms to image

pixel clustering [152]. Subsequently various hybrid algorithms based

on DE are developed by several researchers which include DE-K

means by Kwedlo [153], DE-K harmonic means by Tian et al. [154],

DE-possibilistic clustering by Hu et al. [71]. These algorithms have

been successfully applied to image classication [156], document

clustering [157] and node selection in mobile networks [158].

The physical algorithms are inspired by physical processes such as

heating and cooling of materials (Simulated Annealing given by

Kirkpatrick et al. in 1983 [48]), discrete cultural information which is

treated as in between genetic and culture evolution (Memetic

algorithm by Moscato [167] in 1989), harmony of music played by

musicians (Harmony Search by Geem et al. [173] in 2001) and

cultural behavior of frogs (Shufed frog-leaping algorithm by Eusuff

et al. [179] in 2006). These algorithms have been applied to solve

partitional clustering problem as briey explained in sequence:

rst developed the SA based partitional clustering in 1991

[159]. Then in 1992 Brown and Huntley [160] applied the SA

based partitional clustering algorithm to solve multi-sensor

fusion problem. The clustering algorithm begins with an initial

solution x (cluster centroids) having a large initial temperature

T. The tness of the initial solution f(x) (computed with any

function from Table 3) represents the internal energy of the

system. The heuristic algorithm moves to a new solution x

(selected from its neighborhoods of a state) or remain in the

old state x depending upon a acceptance probability function

and Evolutionary Computation (2014), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.swevo.2013.11.003i

Table 3

Similarity functions f used by the single objective nature inspired metaheuristic algorithms for cluster analysis. Considering dataset Z ND fz1D ; z2D ; ; zND g to be

divided into K clusters with valid partitions Ck as per (1).

Similarity fun.

Characteristics

Medoid distance

Explanation

Minimization of sum of Distance between objects and medoids of dataset

min

Representation

F 1 N

i 1 j A f1; Kgdzi ; mj where medoids fm1 ; m2 ; ; mk g Z, d is any distance

Used in

Lucasius et al. [121], Castro and Murray [122], Sheng and Liu [107]

Centroid distance

Explanation

Minimization of sum of squared Euclidean distance of objects from respective cluster means

Representation F 2 K zi A cj J zi j J 2 , with j is the mean of cj

j1

Distortion distance

Explanation

Minimization of intraclus- ter diversity

Representation F 3 F 2 =N D

Used in

Krishna and Murty [106], Lu et al. [108,109], Franti et al. [124], Kivijarvi et al. [125]

Explanation

It is the ratio of between cluster (B) and pooled within cluster (W) covariance matrices. The VRC should be maximized

Representation

trace B=K 1

F 4 VRC

trace W=N K

Used in

Cowgill et al. [110], Casillas et al. [115]

Used in

Details

Maulik and Bandyopadhyay [105], Zhang and Cao [207], Murthy and Chowdhury [103]

Difference between inter-cluster to intra-cluster dist.

Representation F 5 Ki 1 Dinter ci w Dintra ci , w is a parameter

Used in

Tseng and Yang [111]

Dunn0 s index

Explanation

Dunn0 s index to be maximized for optimal partition

min

min

Representation

c ;c

F 6 DIK iA K j A K; j a i max i j

, where ci ; cj minfdzi ; zj : zi A ci ; zj A cj g, ck maxfdzi ; zj : zi ; zj A ci g,

k A K fck g

Used in

DavisBouldin (DB) index

d is the distance

Dunn [293], Zhang and Cao [207]

Explanation

Ratio of sum of within cluster scatter to between cluster separation. DB index to be minimized

max

Si;q Sj;q

Representation

F 7 DBK 1kKi 1 Ri;qt , where Ri;qt j A K; ja i

dij;t

h

i1=q

, where Ni and i are the number of elements and center

The ith cluster scatter Si;q N1i z A ci J z i J q

Used in

t 1=t

of ci respectively. The separation distance between ith and jth cluster is dij;t D

d 1 ji;d j;d j

Davis and Bouldin [291], Cole [123], Das et al. [16], Bandyopadhyay and Maulik [113], Agustin-Blas et al. [136]

CS measure

Explanation

CS Measure is to be minimized for optimal partitioning

h

i

max

Representation

Ki 1 N1i zj A ci zq A ci dzj ; zq

, with centroid mi N1i zj A ci zj , where Ni is number of elements in ci

F 8 CSK

min

Ki 1 j A K; j a ifdmi ; mj g

Silhouette

Explanation

Higher silhouette provides better assignment of elements

Szi

Representation

where element zi A A, with A; B ck

F 9 N

i1

N

bzi azi

Szi

, Silhouette range: 1 r Szi r 1,

maxfazi ; bzi g

azi is the average dissimilarity of zi to other elements of A,

neighbor dissimilarity bzi min disszi ; B, A a B

Used in

Kaufman and Rousseeuw [294], Hruschka et al. [3,118]

Used in

given by

f x f x0

Paccept exp

T

state. The probability function P(accept) is positive when f x0

is lower than f(x) which represents that the smaller energy

solutions are better than those with a greater energy. The

temperature T plays a crucial role in controlling the evolution

of the state with the cooling process of the system. The

algorithm continues either for a xed number of iterations or

until a state with minimum energy is found (global solution

corresponds to optimal cluster partition).

The basic SA has been suitably combined with K-means [161]

and K-harmonic means [162] to develop hybrid algorithms which

provide superior performance in accurately clustering the UCI

datasets. A GA and SA based hybrid clustering algorithm is

developed in [164] to solve the dynamic topology management

and energy conservation problem in mobile ad hoc network.

Lu et al. [165] developed a fast simulated annealing based clustering approach by combining multiple clusterings based on different

agreement measures between partitions. Recently the SA based

clustering is applied to group the suppliers for effective management and to fulll the demands of customers (i.e. to build a good

supply chain management system) [166].

by Chen et al. [169,170] highlight the recent advances in theory

and application areas of memetic algorithm. This algorithm is

used by Merz [168] to perform cluster analysis on gene

expression proles using minimization of the sum-of-squares

as tness measure. It begins with a population which undergoes a global search (exploration of various areas of the search

space), combined with an individual solution improvement

(performed by a local search heuristic to provide local renements). A balance mechanism is carried out with the local and

global mechanisms to ensure that the system does not achieve

premature convergence to a local solution as well as it does

not consume more computational resources for achieving the

and Evolutionary Computation (2014), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.swevo.2013.11.003i

has been applied for energy efcient clustering of nodes in

wireless sensor networks [171] and segmentation of natural

and remote sensing images [172].

Harmony Search: The Harmony search algorithm becomes

popular after Lee and Geem [174] applied it for various

engineering optimization problems. Mahdavi et al. developed

the Harmony search based partitional algorithm for web page

clustering [175,176]. The algorithm is inspired by the harmony

played by the musicians. Here each musician represents a

decision variable which denotes solution of the problem. The

musicians try to match harmony with respect to time by

incorporating variation and improvisations in the pitch played

by him. The variation in pitch is given by x0 x PB , where

PB is the pitch bandwidth which is an user dened parameter

to control the amount of change and is a random number in

the range [ 1,1]. This variation is reected in the form

of improvement in the cost function to achieve the global

solution. Mahdavi and Abolhassani have also formulated

a hybrid Harmony K-means algorithm for document clustering

[177]. The clustering algorithm [178] has been suitably

applied for designing clustering protocols for wireless sensor

networks.

Shufed frog-leaping algorithm (SFL): The SFL algorithm mimics

the nature of frogs in the memeplexes. The algorithm is used to

solve partitional clustering problem [180] and has been

reported to yield better solutions than ACO, simulated annealing, genetic k-means [106] approaches on several synthetic and

real life datasets. The initial population consists of a set of frogs

(solutions) which is grouped into subsets known as memeplexes. The frogs which belong to different memeplexes are

assumed to be of different cultures and are allowed to perform

local search. So within each memeplexes each individual frog

shares its ideas with other frogs and thus the group evolves

with new ideas (with memetic evolution). After a pre-dened

number of steps (with memetic evolution), the ideas are shared

among the memeplexes using a shufing process. The local

(memetic) and global searches (shufing process) continue till

the optimal tness (accurate clusters) is achieved. The clustering algorithm based on SFL has been used for color image

segmentation [181] and web0 s text mining [182].

Swarm intelligence is the group of natural metaheuristics

inspired by the collective intelligence. The collective intelligence

is built up through a population of homogeneous agents interacting with each other and with their environment. Example of such

intelligence is found among colonies of ants, ocks of birds,

schools of sh, etc. The books [5961] highlight the fundamentals

and developments in swarm intelligence algorithms for solving

numerous real life optimization problems. The major such algorithms include: Ant colony optimization (ACO) by Dorigo [62] in

1992, Particle swarm optimization (PSO) by Kennedy and Eberhart

in 1995 [68,69], Articial bee colony (ABC) algorithm by Karaboga

and Basturk in 2006 [73], Fish Swarm Algorithm (FSA) by Li et al.

in 2002 [254,255]. Application of these algorithms to solve partitional clustering problems is outlined in sequence

behavior in determining the optimal path from the nest to the

food source. The algorithm becomes popular after Dorigo et al.

work was standardized in IEEE [6365]. With the progress

of time Dorigo0 s book on ACO [66] and survey paper [67]

are heavily cited by the researchers and scientists in this eld.

the two fundamental natures of real life ants.

First one is based on ants foraging behavior for determining the

food source. Initially ants wander randomly for food in the surrounding regions of nest. An ant0 s movement is observed by the neighboring

ants with the pheromone intensity it lays down while searching for

food. Once a food source is found the pheromone intensity of the path

increases due to the movement of ant from source to nest and other

ants instead of searching at random, they follow the trail. With the

progress in time the pheromone intensity starts to evaporate and

reduce its attraction. The amount of time taken for an ant to travel to

food source and back to the nest is directly proportional to the

quantity of pheromone evaporation. So with time an optimal shortest

path is achieved to maintain the high pheromone intensity. With this

concept the cluster analysis is formulated as an optimization problem

and solved using ACO to obtain the optimal partitions in [183,184]. A

constrained ACO (C-ACO) [185] was proposed to handle arbitrary

shaped clusters and outliers present in the data. Then adaptive ACO

was proposed by several researchers [186188] to improve the

convergence rate and to determine the optimal number of clusters.

A variant of ACO, known as APC (aggregation pheromone densitybased clustering) algorithm is proposed by Ghosh et al. [189,190]. The

beauty of APC is updation of the pheromone matrix which is helpful to

avoid the convergence of solutions to a local optima.

The second one imitates the ants behavior of grouping dead

bodies. Ants work together to deposit more dead bodies in their

nest and group them with respect to their size. This grouping

property of ants is rst coded in the form of algorithm for data

clustering (LF algorithm) by Lumer and Faieta [191]. The basic LF

algorithm was followed and improved by several researchers

[192,193]. Yang et al. [194,195] proposed the use of multi-ant

colonies algorithm for clustering. In this concept, the algorithm

consists of several independent ant colonies (each having a queen

ant). The moving speed of ants and parameters of the probability

conversion function in different colonies differ from each other.

Each colony produces a clustering result in parallel and sends it to

the queen ant agent. A hypergraph model (through queen ants) is

used to combine all the parallel colonies.

Handel et al. published a number of articles on ACO [196199]

which are extensively cited by the researchers. They have incorporated robustness in the standard LF algorithm (known as ACA)

and applied it for document retrieval [196]. The performance of

these methods have been compared with that obtained by antbased clustering with K-means, average link and 1DSOM in [197].

They have suggested an improved ACO in [198] which incorporates

adaptive and heterogeneous ants for better exploration of search

space. In the survey article [199] both the approaches of ACO along

with other swarm based clustering approaches (like bird ocking

algorithm and PSO) have been dealt. A modied version of ACA

(known as ACAM) is proposed by Boryczka et al. [200] which has

been shown to outperform ACA [196] in terms of accuracy (tested

with ve cluster validation measures). Recently an automatic

clustering based on ant dynamics is proposed in [201], which

can detect arbitrary shape clusters (both convex and/or nonconvex). Another algorithm known as chaotic ant swarm (CAS)

proposed by Wan et al. [202] provides optimal partitions irrespective of cluster size and density.

A number of hybrid algorithms based on ants are available in

the literature. Initially Kuo et al. [203] have proposed ants based Kmeans algorithm, which is subsequently improved by hybridization of ACO, self-organizing maps(SOM) and k-means in [204].

Further, Jiang et al. have developed new hybrid clustering algorithms by combining the ACO with K-harmonic means algorithm

in [205] and DSBCAN algorithm in [206]. Recently Zhang and Cao

[207] have suggested a new one by integrating ACO with kernel

and Evolutionary Computation (2014), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.swevo.2013.11.003i

the dataset to compute efcient features and then ant based

clustering is performed in the feature space (instead of the input

space). A multiple cluster detection algorithm based on spatial

scan statistic and ACO is reported in [208]. It is observed that these

hybrid algorithms exhibit performances superior to that of the

individual algorithms in terms of efciency and clustering quality.

The ant based clustering algorithms nd applications to web

mining [209], test mining [188], texture segmentation [210],

intrusion detection [211,212], high dimensional data analysis

[213], long-term electrocardiogram processing [214] and gene

expression data analysis [215].

behavior of particles searching for food in a collaborative

manner. The algorithm has become popular among the

researchers [7072] due to its simple form for implementation,

easier selection of parameters and faster convergence rate.

The cluster analysis using PSO was proposed by Omran et al.

[219] for image clustering. Then van der Merwe and Engelhrecht

[220] applied it for cluster analysis of arbitrary datasets. The

algorithm in its basic form for cluster analysis consists of a swarm

in a D dimensional search space in which each particle0 s position

xi mi1 ; mi2 ; ; mik ; ; miK consists of K cluster centroid vectors.

The mik is the centroid of cluster cik. The position of ith particle is

associated with a velocity V i vi1 ; vi2 ; ; viK , where vi1 ; vi2 are

initialized as random numbers in the search range. Then the

tness of particles is evaluated with a suitable tness function

f : dened in Table 2. Based on the tness values the best previous

positions achieved by the particles represent the local solutions

given by P i pi1 ; pi2 ; ; piK . For the initial run P i xi . The global

solution is the best position achieved by the swarm in a generation

given by P g pg1 ; pg2 ; ; pgt , where t is the number of generation.

The cluster centroid positions are updated with the velocity and

position update of the particles given by

vik t 1 w vik t c1 r 1 pik t xik t

c2 r 2 pg t xik t

the inertia weight which is taken as 0.4. The c1 and c2 are

acceleration constants taken as 2.05. The updation process continues till the number of data points which belongs to each cluster

remains constant for certain generations.

A number of variants of PSO based clustering algorithms have

been reported by researchers in the last couple of years. Cohen and

Castro [221] have proposed a particle swarm clustering (PSC)

algorithm in which the particle0 s velocity update is inuenced by

particle0 s previous position along with a cognitive term, social

term and self-organizing term. These terms are helpful to guide

the particle for better solutions and to avoid local stagnation.

A combinatorial particle swarm optimization (CPSO) based partitional clustering is proposed in [222] for solving multi-mode

resource-constrained project scheduling problem. Chuang et al.

[223] developed a chaotic PSO which replaces the convergence

parameters like w, c1, c2, r1, r2 with chaotic operators. These new

operators incorporates ergodic, irregular, and stochastic properties

of chaos in PSO to improve its convergence. A selective particle

regeneration based PSO (SRPSO) and a combination of it with Kmeans (KSRPSO) are proposed in [224] for partitional clustering.

Both algorithms provide faster convergence than PSO and

K-means, due to particle regeneration operation that enables

better exploration of search space. Sun et al. [225] proposed a

quantum-behaved PSO (QPSO) algorithm for cluster analysis of

clustering algorithm is developed by Cura et al. [226] to handle

unknown number of clusters.

The hybrid algorithm based on K-means and PSO is proposed

by van der Merwe and Engelhrecht [220] in 2003. The PSO has

been suitably combined with K-harmonic means [227] and rough

set theory [228] to produce hybrid algorithms for partitional

clustering. Du et al. have formulated a DK algorithm [229] by

hybridizing particle-pair optimizer (PPO) algorithm (a variation on

the traditional PSO) with K-means for microarray data cluster

analysis. The DK algorithm is reported to be more accurate and

robust than K-means and Fuzzy K-means(FKM) algorithm. Zhang

et al. [230] combined PSO with possibilistic C-means(PCM) for

image segmentation which provides superior performance than

fuzzy C-means(FCM) algorithm. Another efcient approach based

on PSO, ACO and K-means for cluster analysis is reported in [231].

Recently several researchers have produced new hybrid evolutionary clustering algorithms by suitably combining PSO with

differential evolution [232], genetic algorithm [233], immune

algorithms [234,235] and simulated annealing [236]. These hybrid

algorithms provide superior performance than the individual

traditional evolutionary algorithms in terms of efciency, robustness and clustering accuracy.

The PSO based clustering algorithms have been effectively used

in several real life applications including node clustering in

wireless sensor network (WSN) to enhance lifetime of sensors

and coverage area [17], energy balanced cluster routing in WSN

[237], clustering in mobile ad hoc networks to determine the

cluster heads which becomes responsible for aggregating the

topology information [238], cluster analysis of stock market data

for portfolio management [27], grouping for security assessment

in power systems [239], gene expression data analysis [240], color

image segmentation [241], clustering for manufacturing cell

design [242], image clustering [243], document clustering [244],

cluster analysis of web usage data [245] and network anomaly

detection [246].

behavior of honey bee swarm. The algorithm has become

popular after a sequence of publication made by Karaboga

et al. [7477]. Recently the ABC algorithm is used for cluster

analysis by several researchers like Zhang et al. [247], Zou et al.

[248], Fathian et al. [249] and Karaboga et al. [250].

The clustering algorithm based on ABC begins with initialization of

bee population with randomly selected cluster centroids in the

dataset. The initial population is categorized into two parts: employed

bees and the onlookers. The employed bees are always associated with

a food source. The food source represents the quality of the solution

(in terms of tness) to the problem and to be optimized. An employed

bee modies its position (i.e. determines a new food source) depending upon local information and the tness value of new source. If the

tness value of new source is more than the previous one than the

employed bee memorizes the new position and forgets the old one.

After all employed bees complete the search, they share the information on food sources and their position with the onlooker bees on the

dance area. Then the onlooker bees are assigned as employed bees

based on a probability which is related to the tness of the food

source. These bees now update their position and share their

information. Every bee colony has scout bees which do random search

in the environment surrounding the next to discover new food

sources. This process is helpful for exploration in the search space

and to avoid the solutions being trapped into a local food source

(optima). The clustering algorithm based on ABC has been suitably

applied for solving network routings [251] and sensor deployment

problems [252] in wireless sensor networks. Recently a hybrid

and Evolutionary Computation (2014), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.swevo.2013.11.003i

incorporating crossover operation of GA in ABC which provides

superior performance than that obtained by each of PSO, CPSO, GA,

ABC and K-means algorithm.

the schooling behavior of sh. Cheng et al. [256] applied the

FSA for cluster analysis. The algorithm operates by mimicking

three important behavior of natural sh: searching behavior

(tendency of sh to look at food), swarming behavior (sh

assembles in swarms to minimize danger) and following

behavior (when a sh identify food source, its neighboring

individuals follow based on sh0 s visual power). Tsai and Lin

[257] have reported improved solution provided by FSA compared to PSO for several optimization problems.

The bio-inspired, short form of biologically inspired algorithms

comprise natural metaheuristics derived from living phenomena

and behavior of biological organisms. The intelligence derived

with bio-inspired algorithms are decentralized, distributed, selforganizing and adaptive in nature (under uncertain environments). The major algorithms in this eld include Articial

immune systems (AIS) [7883], Bacterial foraging optimization

(BFO) [8486], Dendritic cell algorithm [87,88] and Krill herd

algorithm [356]. The usage of these algorithms to efciently solve

partitional clustering problem is highlighted for each case:

Timmis [79] provide the fundamental concepts on articial

immune system for computing and its potential applications.

The four core models developed by mimicking the principle of

biological immune system include: negative selection algorithm,

clonal selection algorithm, immune network model and danger

theory. Among these four the clonal selection principle by

Charsto and Zuben [80] has becomes popular for machine

learning and optimization purposes. The recent articles by

Dasgupta et al. [81,82] and thesis by Nanda [83] highlight the

major advances in the theory and applications of AIS.

Initially Nasraoui et al. [258] developed an AIS based model for

dynamic unsupervised learning. Then the clonal selection algorithm [259,260] has been effectively used for cluster analysis.

In this algorithm the immune cells (they combine to form a

population which is responsible to protect the body against

infection) are initialized with K cluster centroid vectors. When

an antigen (foreign element) invades the body; number of antibodies (immune cells) that recognize these antigens survive

(based on the best tness value). These immune cells undergo

clonal reproduction (new immune cells are produced which are

copies of efcient parent cells). Then a portion of cloned population undergoes a mutation mechanism (somatic hypermutation).

The mutation mechanism is responsible to diversify the solutions

in the search space, thus avoids the cells to be trapped in the local

optima. The best particles among the mutated and cloned ones are

kept as the parents for next generation. The algorithm runs for a

xed number of generations (user dened) till the convergence is

achieved and a optimal number of clusters are obtained.

Li and Tan [261] rst developed the hybrid clustering algorithm

based on AIS by combining it with support vector machine (SVM).

Then an immune K-means algorithm is developed in [262] which

is based on the negative selection principle. Nanda et al. [234]

developed an Immunized PSO (IPSO) algorithm in which the global

best particle is cloned and mutated after the velocity and position

update to enhance the particles search in an focused manner. In a

recent work the IPSO has been suitably employed for partitional

clustering task [234]. Graaff and Engelbrecht [263] initially developed a local network neighborhood clustering method based on

AIS. Later on they have formulated the immune based algorithm

for cluster analysis under uncertain environments [264].

foraging optimization (BFO) algorithm in 2002 which imitates

the foraging strategies of E. coli bacteria for nding food. An E.

coli bacterium can search for food in its surrounding by two

types of movements: run or tumble. These movements are

possible with the help of agella (singular, agellum) that enable

the bacterium to swim. If the agella move counterclockwise,

their effects accumulate in the form of a bundle which pushes

the bacterium to move forward in one direction (run). When the

agella rotate clockwise, each agellum separates themselves

from the others and the bacterium tumbles (it does not have any

set direction for movement and there is almost no displacement). The bacterium alternates between these two modes of

operation throughout its entire lifetime. After the initial development by Passino the algorithm gradually has become popular

due to its capability to provide good solution in dynamic [85]

and multi-modal [86] environments.

Literature review indicates that this algorithm has recently

being applied to cluster analysis [265, 266]. The basic clustering

algorithm based upon the BFO consists of four fundamental steps:

chemotaxis, swarming, reproduction, elimination and dispersal.

The initial solution space is created by assigning the bacteria

positions as the randomly chosen cluster centroids in the dataset.

Then the chemotaxis process denes the movement of bacteria,

which represents either a tumble followed by a tumble or tumble

followed by a run. The detailed mathematical expression in

chemotaxis for the movement of bacteria (i.e. cluster head) is

dened in [84]. The swarming operation represents the cell-to-cell

signaling scheme of bacteria via an attractant. The clustering task

can be also performed satisfactorily without the swarming

scheme (which involves high computational complexity and thus

eliminated in [267]). After performing a xed number of chemotaxis loops the reproduction is carried out where the population is

sorted with respect to the tness value. The rst half of the bacteria

is retained and the second half (i.e. least healthy bacteria) is

allowed to die. Each of the healthiest bacteria splits into two

bacteria, which are placed at the same location. In order to prevent

the bacteria from being trapped into local optima the elimination

and dispersal phases are carried out. Here a bacterium is chosen

according to a preset probability and is allowed to disperse

(i.e move to another random position). The dispersal at times

becomes useful as it may place bacteria near good food sources (i.e.

optimal cluster partitions). The BFO based clustering algorithm has

been successfully applied to deploying sensor nodes in wireless

sensor network to enhance the coverage and connectivity [268].

by Chu and Tsai [269,270] by observing the natural hunting

skill of cats. Santosa et al. [271] used CSO based clustering to

classify benchmark UCI datasets [354]. The algorithm determines the optimal solution based on two modes of operation

cats: seeking mode (represents global search technique which

mimics the resting position of cats with slow movement) and

tracing mode (local search technique which reects the rapid

chase of cat behind the target). Recently Pradhan et al. [20]

and Evolutionary Computation (2014), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.swevo.2013.11.003i

10

applied the multi-objective CSO algorithm for optimal deployment of sensor nodes in wireless sensor networks.

Cuckoo Search Algorithm The cuckoo search algorithm is

developed by Yang and Deb [272] in 2009. The algorithm

mimics the breeding behavior of cuckoos (to lay their eggs

in the nests of other birds). Three basic operations associated

are: (i) every cuckoo lays one egg at a time, and dumps its egg

in randomly selected nest in the environment, (ii) the nests

with good quality of eggs will remain for next generations, (iii)

the number of host bird nests is xed, and the egg laid by a

cuckoo is identied by the host bird depending on a probability

in the range [0, 1] (under such situation, the host bird can

either destroy the egg or destroy the present nest and build a

new one). Goel et al. [274] have formulated the cuckoo search

based clustering algorithm and applied it for extraction of

water body information from remote sensing satellite images.

Firey algorithm The algorithm is proposed by Yang [275277]

observing the rhythmic ashes of reies. Senthilnath et al.

[278] applied the algorithm for cluster analysis of UCI datasets.

The algorithm follows three rules based upon the glowing

nature of reies: (i) all reies are unisex and each rey is

attracted towards other reies regardless of their sex; (ii) the

attraction is proportional to their brightness. Therefore between

any two ashing reies, the less brighter one will move

towards the brighter one. As the attraction is proportional to

the brightness, both decrease with the increase in distance

between reies. In the surrounding if there is no brighter one

than a particular rey, then it has to move randomly; (iii) the

brightness of a rey is determined by the nature of objective

function. Initially at the beginning of clustering algorithm, all the

reies are randomly dispersed across the entire search space.

Then the algorithm determines the optimal partitions based on

two phases: (i) variation of light intensity: the brightness of a

rey at current position is reected on its tness value, (ii)

movement towards attractive rey: the rey changes its

position by observing the light intensity of adjacent reies.

Hassanzadeh et al. [279] have successfully applied the rey

clustering algorithm for image segmentation.

Invasive Weed Optimization Algorithm (IWO) The IWO is

proposed by Mehrabian and Lucas [280] by following the

colonization of weeds. The weeds reproduce their seeds spread

over a special area and grow to new plants in order to nd the

optimized position. The automatic clustering algorithm based

upon IWO is formulated by Chowdhury et al. [281]. The

algorithm is based upon four basic steps: (i) initialization of

the weeds in the whole search space, (ii) reproduction of the

weeds, (iii) distribution of the seeds, (iv) competitive exclusion

of the weeds (tter weeds produce more seeds). Su et al. [282]

applied the algorithm for image clustering. The multi-objective

IWO is proposed by Kundu et al. [283] which is recently applied

for cluster analysis by Liu et al. [284].

Gravitational Search Algorithm (GSA) Rashedi [285,286] proposed the GSA following the principles of Newton law of

gravity which states that Every particle in the universe attracts

every other particle with a force that is directly proportional to

the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the

square of the distance between them. The algorithm is used for

cluster analysis by Hatamlou et al. [287]. Recently Yin et al.

[288] developed a hybrid algorithm based on K-harmonic

means and GSA.

The similarity function f described in (2) plays a major role in

effectively partitioning the dataset. It represents a mathematical

similarity between the patterns present in it. Various tness

functions used by the nature inspired metaheuristic algorithms

for partitional clustering are listed in Table 3.

2.4. Cluster validity indices

The cluster validity indices represent statistical functions used

for quantitative evaluation of the clusters derived from a dataset.

The objective is to determine the importance of the disclosed

cluster structure produced by any clustering algorithm. In a recent

review article [289] Xu et al. compared the performance of eight

major validity indices used by swarm-intelligence-based clustering on synthetic and benchmark UCI datasets. Arbelaitz et al. [372]

have demonstrated the use of 30 cluster validity indices in 720

synthetic and 20 real datasets. The books by Gan et al. [95],

Berkhin [96] and Maulik et al. [322] present the validity indices

used by the evolutionary clustering algorithms. Some popular

validity indices like DB index, Dunn index, CS Measure and

Silhouette are also used as tness function by several researchers

(the details are enlisted in Table 3). Other validity indices used in

the bio-inspired clustering literature include CH Index [290,299],

I Index [112], Rand index [95], Jaccard coefcient [95], Folkes and

Mallows index [1], Hubert0 s statistic [95], SD Index [298], S-Dbw

index [295,296], root-mean-square standard deviation index

[295,296], RS index [297], PBM index [300] and SV index [301].

Gurrutxaga et al. [302] suggested a standard methodology to

evaluate internal cluster validity indices. Recently Saha and Bandyopadhyay [303] have proposed connectivity based measures to

improve the performance of standard cluster validity indices used

by bio-inspired clustering techniques.

Recent survey article by Zhou et al. [304] highlights the basic

principles, advancements and application of multi-objective algorithms to several real world optimization problems. Basically these

algorithms are preferred over single objective counterparts as they

incorporate additional knowledge in terms of objective functions

to achieve optimal solution. In the last decade researchers have

developed many nature inspired multi-objective algorithms which

include non-dominated sorting GA (NSGA-II) [305,306], Pareto

envelope-based selection algorithm (PESA II) [325], Strength

Pareto Evolutionary Algorithm (SPEA) [326], and Voronoi Initialised Evolutionary Nearest-Neighbour Algorithm (VIENNA) [327].

Along with these other major nature inspired multiobjective

algorithms are enlisted in Table 1. The recent book by Maulik

et al. [322] highlights the overview and applicability of these

multi-objective algorithms for partitional clustering.

3.1. Problem formulation

The partitional clustering problem can be formulated as a

multi-objective problem by simultaneously minimizing M objective function represented by

Min

kAK

Fk min f 1 k; f 2 k; ; f M k

multi-objective clustering, instead of achieving a single solution

(cluster partition achieved in single objective algorithm), a group

of optimal solutions are obtained (known as Pareto optimal) by

suitable combination of different objective functions. All the

Pareto optimal solutions are better from each other in the

form of some objective functions and therefore known as

and Evolutionary Computation (2014), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.swevo.2013.11.003i

Pareto optimal solutions, with respect to the objective function is

known as Pareto optimal front [306].

3.2. Historical development in multi-objective algorithms for

partitional clustering

The survey paper by Bong and Rajeswari [323] reports that the

design, development and uses of multi-objective bio-inspired

algorithms for clustering and classication problems have exponentially increased from year 2006 to 2010. Research in the area of

bio-inspired multiobjective clustering has been strengthened after

the work on MOCK (Multi-objective clustering with automatic K

determination) by Handl and Knowles [330] published in 2007.

Prior to that Corne et al. developed pareto envelope-based selection algorithm (PESA) [324] and PESA-II [325] to solve partitional

clustering problem. Then the work by Handl and Knowles on

VIENNA (Voronoi Initialised Evolutionary Nearest-Neighbour Algorithm) [327], multi-objective clustering with automatic determination of the number of clusters [328] and improvements in the

scalability [329] have drawn the attention of many evolutionary

computing researchers. These articles are considered to have

served as backbone for the development of MOCK [330].

On the same year with MOCK [330], Bandyopadhyay et al. in

[331] reported multi-objective clustering based on NSGA-II [306]

and applied it for classication of remote sensing images. The

NSGA-II based multi-objective clustering has recently been applied

for MR brain image segmentation in [332]. Santosh et al. [333]

have proposed a multi ant-colonies based multi-objective clustering that can effectively group distributed data. Here each colony

works in parallel over the same dataset and simultaneous optimization of two objectives provides better solutions than those

achieved with individual objectives being separately optimized.

An immune-inspired algorithm to solve multiobjective clustering is initially proposed in [334] to classify the benchmark UCI

datasets UCI12. Then Ma et al. [335] developed the immunodominance and clonal selection inspired multiobjective clustering for

classifying handwritten digits. The immune multi-objective clustering has been suitably applied for the SAR image segmentation

[336]. Recently Gou et al. [370] have reported development of

multi-elitist immune clonal quantum clustering algorithm.

An automatic kernel clustering using multi elitist PSO is

proposed by Das et al. in [337]. Paoli et al. [338] have formulated

the MOPSO based clustering for grouping hyperspectral images.

Recently the MOPSO has been applied for energy-efcient clustering in mobile ad hoc networks [339].

Simulated annealing based multi-objective clustering algorithm which uses symmetry distance is reported by Saha and

Bandyopadhyay [340,341]. A scatter tabu search algorithm is used

for multiobjective clustering problems in [342]. Suresh et al. [343]

have proposed a multi-objective differential evolution based

automatic clustering for micro-array data analysis. The multiobjective invasive weed optimization (MOIWO) has recently been

applied for cluster analysis by Liu et al. [284].

A clustering ensemble developed by Faceli et al. [344] deals

with generation of multiple partitions of the same data. Combining

these resulting partitions, an user can obtain a good data partitioning even though the original output clusters are not compact and

well separated. Ripon and Siddique have proposed an evolutionary

multi-objective tool for overlapping clusters detection.

3.3. Evaluation methods

Handl and Knowles [346] initially described the cluster validity

indices for multi-objective bio-inspired clustering. Then Brusco

11

and Steinley [347] reported the cross validation issues in multiobjective clustering.

Recently the use of parametric and nonparametric statistical tests

has become popular among the evolutionary researchers. Usually

these tests are carried out to decide where one evolutionary

algorithm is considered better than another [348]. Therefore these

tests can effectively be applied to evaluate the performance of the

new multi-objective clustering algorithms. The parametric tests

described by Garcia et al. [349] are popular in which the authors

have selected 14 UCI datasets to compare the performance of ve

evolutionary algorithm used for classication purpose. They have

used Wilcoxon signed-ranks to evaluate the performance with

classication rate and Cohen0 s kappa as accuracy measure. However

the parametric tests are based upon the assumptions of independence, normality, and homoscedasticity which at times do not get

satised in multi-problem analysis. Under such situations the nonparametric test is preferable. The papers by Derrac et al. [348] and

Garcia et al. [350] clearly highlight the signicance of nonparametric

test, which can perform two classes of analysis pairwise comparisons

and multiple comparisons. The pairwise comparisons include Sign

test, Wilcoxon test, Multiple sign test, and Friedman test. The multiple comparisons consist of Friedman Aligned ranks, Quade test,

Contrast Estimation. The books [353,352] and statistical toolbox in

MATLAB [351] are helpful in implementing these statistical tests.

based partitional clustering

The nature inspired partitional clustering algorithms have been

successfully applied to diversied areas of engineering and science.

Many researchers have employed the benchmark UCI datasets to

validate the performance of nature inspired clustering algorithms.

Some popular UCI datasets and its uses in the corresponding

algorithms are listed in Table 4. The major applications of the

nature inspired clustering literature and the corresponding authors

are shown in Table 5. Along with Table 5 some more application

areas include character recognition [10,335], traveling salesman

problem [91], blind channel equalizer design [21], human action

classication [22,363], book clustering [32], texture segmentation

[210], tourism market segmentation [371], analysis of gene expression patterns [365], electrocardiogram processing [214], security

assessment in power systems [239], manufacturing cell design

[242], clustering of sensor nodes [362], identication of clusters for

accurate analysis of seismic catalogs [364].

5. Conclusion

This paper provides an up-to-date review of nature inspired

metaheuristic algorithms for partitional clustering. It is observed

that the traditional gradient based partitional algorithms are

computationally simpler but often provide inaccurate results as

the solution is trapped in the local minima. The nature inspired

metaheuristics explore the entire search space with the population

involved and ensure that optimal partition is achieved. Further

single objective algorithms provide one optimal solution where as

the multi-objective algorithms provide the exibility to select the

desired solution from a set of optimal solutions. The promising

solutions of automatic clustering are much helpful as they do not

need apriori information about the number of clusters present in

the dataset. It is important to note that although numerous

clustering algorithms have been published considering various

practical aspects, no single clustering algorithm has been shown to

dominate the rest for all application areas.

and Evolutionary Computation (2014), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.swevo.2013.11.003i

12

Table 4

Widely used UCI benchmark data sets for nature inspired metaheuristics based partitional clustering.

Datasets

Creater

R.A. Fisher

GA [100,114,91,128,134], DE [16,155,153],

ACO [184,198,193,202,207], BFO [267],

PSO [223,226,233,224,222,227], CSO [271],

ABC [247,250,248], Firey [278], Frog [180],

NSGA II [345], MOAIS [334], MOCK [22], MODE [343]

Forina et al.

PSO [223,224,233,226,227,231], DE [16,155],

BFO [267], AIS [235], ABC [247,250,248],

Firey [278], GSA [288], Frog [180], NSGA II [345],

MODE [343], MOSA [340,341], VIENNA [327]

B. German

PSO [224,226,233,222,227], DE [16,155],

BFO [267], ABC [250,248], Firey [278], CSO [271],

GSA [288], NSGA II [345]

W.H. Wolberg

O. Mangasarian

PSO [223,236,224,226,227], BFO [267],

ABC [250,248], Firey [278], GSA [288], MODE [343],

MOAIS [334], MOSA [340,341], VIENNA [327]

R. Quinlan

Firey [278], Frog [180], MOSA [340,341]

ABC [250,248,253], GSA [288]

N. Ilter

H.A. Guvenir

VIENNA [327]

V. Sigillito

NSGA II [345]

Vision Group

Table 5

Real life application areas of nature inspired metaheuristic based partitional clustering.

Applications

Image segmentation

GA Feng et al. [130], PSO Lee et al. [241], Abraham et al. [4], Zhang et al. [230], ACO Ghosh et al. [190], DE Das et al.

[2], Review Jain et al. [10], NSGA II Mukhopadhyay et al. [332], Bandyopadhyay et al. [331], MOCLONAL Yang et al.

[336], Multiobj. Review Bong and Rajeswari [323]

Image clustering

GA Bandyopadhyay et al. [113], DE Das et al. [151,152], Omran et al. [156], PSO Omran et al. [219,243],

NSGA II Bandyopadhyay et al. [331]

Document clustering

GA Casillas et al. [115], Kuo and lin [129], PSO Cui et al. [244], ACO Yang et al. [194], Handl and Meyer [196],

DE Abraham et al. [157], Review Steinbach et al. [35], Andrews et al. [33], Jain et al. [34]

Web mining

ACO Labroche et al. [209], Abraham and Ramos [216], PSO Alam et al. [245]

Text mining

ACO Handl and Meyer [196], Vizine et al. [218], SA - Chang [163]

GA Tan et al. [137], ABC Karaboga et al. [251], Udgata et al. [252], PSO Yu et al. [237], BFO Gaba et al. [268], MOCSO

Pradhan and Panda [20], Review O. Younis et al. [17], M. Younis et al. [18], Kumarawadu et al. [19]

ACO Merkle et al. [217], PSO Ji et al. [238], Ali et al. [339], DE Chakraborty et al. [158]

SA W Jin et al. [164]

GA Lu et al. [109], Ma et al. [117], ACO He and Hui [215], DE Das et al. [2], PSO Sun et al. [225], Du et al. [229],

Thangavel et al. [236], AIS Lie et al. [260], Review Jiang et al. [30], Lukashin et al. [31], Xu and Wunsch [91], Hruschka

et al. [3,119,120], Jain et al. [34], MODE Suresh et al. [343]

Intrusion detection

GA Liu et al. [116], ACO Ramos and Abraham [211], Tsang and Kwong [212], PSO Lima et al. [246]

Computational nance

Review MacGregor et al. [24], Brabazon et al. [25], Amendola et al. [26], Nanda et al. [27]

GA Franti et al. [124], Lucasius et al. [121], ACO Chen et al. [213] Evolutionary algorithm NOCEA Saras et al. [29]

PSO Cho [355], Review Jain et al. [10,34], Zaliapin et al. [28],

Nanda et al. [364]

The eld of nature inspired partitional clustering is relatively

young and emerging with new concepts and applications. There

are many new research directions in this eld which need

investigations include:

a particular nature inspired metaheuristic algorithm to achieve

optimal partition is dependent on its design environment (i.e

encoding scheme, operators, set of parameters, etc.). So for a given

complex problem the design choices should be theoretically

analyzed before the simulation and implementation.

and Evolutionary Computation (2014), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.swevo.2013.11.003i

River formation dynamics [357], Granular agent evolutionary

algorithm [358], Bat algorithm [359361], Glowworm Swarm

Optimization [366], Black hole algorithm [368], Cellular automata algorithm [369] can also be employed to solve the

partitional clustering problems.

In real life datasets at times cluster analysis has to be carried

out with certain constrains. Recent research article by Xu et al.

[367] and book by Basu et al. [5] highlight the major constrain

handing with swarm intelligence based clustering algorithms.

In many practical applications, it is very important to select a

good feature extraction method (not necessarily the best

clustering algorithm) that highlights the underlying structure

of the dataset from clustering aspect.

Many practical datasets contain patterns which are similar and

overlapping in nature. In such cases the transformed domain

information of the dataset can be effectively used to group the

patterns.

In many cluster analysis applications there is a need for

stability or consistence performance of the results. As most

nature-inspired algorithms are heuristic in nature, stability

issues of these clustering algorithms are still a barren area of

research.

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