Saarland University
Department of Computer Science
Computational Complexity
Computational Complexity




Computational Complexity - Research Seminar

Bodo Manthey: k-Means has Polynomial Smoothed Complexity

May 28, 2009, 10:15 a.m.
E 1 3, Room 415

The k-means method is one of the most widely used clustering algorithms, drawing its popularity from its speed in practice. Recently, however, it was shown to have exponential worst-case running time. In order to close the gap between practical performance and theoretical analysis, the k-means method has been studied in the model of smoothed analysis. But even the smoothed analyses so far are unsatisfactory as the bounds are still super-polynomial in the number n of data points.

We settle the smoothed running time of the k-means method. We show that the smoothed number of iterations is bounded by a polynomial in n and 1/σ, where σ is the standard deviation of the Gaussian perturbations. This means that if an arbitrary input data set is randomly perturbed, then the k-means method will run in expected polynomial time on that input set.