A fuzzy k-prototype clustering algorithm for mixed numeric and categorical data

Jinchao Ji, Wei Pang, Xiao Han, Chunguang Zhou, Zhe Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

132 Citations (Scopus)


In many applications, data objects are described by both numeric and categorical features. The k-prototype algorithm is one of the most important algorithms for clustering this type of data. However, this method performs hard partition, which may lead to misclassification for the data objects in the boundaries of regions, and the dissimilarity measure only uses the user-given parameter for adjusting the significance of attribute. In this paper, first, we combine mean and fuzzy centroid to represent the prototype of a cluster, and employ a new measure based on co-occurrence of values to evaluate the dissimilarity between data objects and prototypes of clusters. This measure also takes into account the significance of different attributes towards the clustering process. Then we present our algorithm for clustering mixed data. Finally, the performance of the proposed method is demonstrated by a series of experiments on four real world datasets in comparison with that of traditional clustering algorithms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-135
Number of pages7
JournalKnowledge-Based Systems
Early online date21 Jan 2012
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


  • fuzzy clustering
  • data mining
  • mixed data
  • dissimilarity measure
  • attribute significance


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