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Topology Preservation in SOM

Authors: E. Arsuaga Uriarte, F. Díaz Martín


The SOM has several beneficial features which make it a useful method for data mining. One of the most important features is the ability to preserve the topology in the projection. There are several measures that can be used to quantify the goodness of the map in order to obtain the optimal projection, including the average quantization error and many topological errors. Many researches have studied how the topology preservation should be measured. One option consists of using the topographic error which considers the ratio of data vectors for which the first and second best BMUs are not adjacent. In this work we present a study of the behaviour of the topographic error in different kinds of maps. We have found that this error devaluates the rectangular maps and we have studied the reasons why this happens. Finally, we suggest a new topological error to improve the deficiency of the topographic error.

Keywords: self-organizing map, Map lattice, topographic error, topology preservation

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