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I am studying Cluster Analysis and I came across BIRCH (Balanced Iterative Reduction Using hierarchical) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BIRCH_(data_clustering) CF Tree insertion algorithm. I am confused what does branching factor(B), threshold for diameter of cluster in a leaf(T) means and in general how the algorithm works. It will be of immense help if someone can please explain it using an example. Thanks in advance.

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  • $\begingroup$ Can you tell us what research you've done? Have you done a literature search? Did you read the original paper that introduced it? the references cited by Wikipedia? I would not expect the Wikipedia article ot contain enough information to fully understand the algorithm. $\endgroup$ – D.W. Nov 24 '13 at 18:57
  • $\begingroup$ @D.W. I have read the topic from "Data Mining Concepts and Techniques" (3rd edition by Jiawei Han, Micheline Kamber, Jian Pei). The book does contain a CF-tree structure but there isn't a detailed explanation for tree insertion algorithm. $\endgroup$ – Rishabh Nov 24 '13 at 19:05
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Since you mentioned you haven't read it yet, I suggest you start by reading the original paper (which was linked to from the Wikipedia page). For research-level contributions, that's often a helpful place to start, if you're having trouble finding a place to learn more.

Wikipedia also links to some slides on BIRCH. That might be worth reading first to get an overview for what they're trying to achieve, before reading the original paper -- but you'll still need to read the original paper. The slides are not a substitute for the paper, especially if you want to know the specifics of the algorithm.

You should not expect a textbook or slides to give this level of details. They might try to give you the general idea or the overall intuition, but if you want to know the full details, it's likely that you'll need to read the original paper. It's not unusual to find that you need to go to the primary sources, for recent research like this.

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  • $\begingroup$ When did I mentioned I haven't read it yet? Actually I have referred a number of slides and the book as mentioned in the above comment but as I said I haven't find a detailed example and I am getting confused with the threshold parameters. $\endgroup$ – Rishabh Nov 24 '13 at 19:11
  • $\begingroup$ I fail to understand how this answer is going to help me as I have already mentioned I have read the topic from the book and the slides. I came here for a simplified explanation but thank's for your time anyways! $\endgroup$ – Rishabh Nov 24 '13 at 19:23

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