Skip to content


  • Research Article
  • Open Access

Cluster Structure Inference Based on Clustering Stability with Applications to Microarray Data Analysis

EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20042004:545761

  • Received: 28 February 2003
  • Published:


This paper focuses on the stability-based approach for estimating the number of clusters in microarray data. The cluster stability approach amounts to performing clustering successively over random subsets of the available data and evaluating an index which expresses the similarity of the successive partitions obtained. We present a method for automatically estimating by starting from the distribution of the similarity index. We investigate how the selection of the hierarchical clustering (HC) method, respectively, the similarity index, influences the estimation accuracy. The paper introduces a new similarity index based on a partition distance. The performance of the new index and that of other well-known indices are experimentally evaluated by comparing the "true" data partition with the partition obtained at each level of an HC tree. A case study is conducted with a publicly available Leukemia dataset.

Keywords and phrases

  • clustering stability
  • number of clusters
  • hierarchical clustering methods
  • similarity indices
  • partition-distance
  • microarray data

Authors’ Affiliations

Institute of Signal Processing, Tampere University of Technology, P.O. Box 553, Tampere, FIN, 33101, Finland


© Giurcăneanu and Tăbuş 2004