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Accepted Paper at SIAM SDM 2023

Extension of the Dip-test Repertoire - Efficient and Differentiable p-value Calculation for Clustering



Lena G. M. Bauer, Collin Leiber, Christian Böhm, Claudia Plant


SIAM International Conference on Data Mining (SDM 2023),
27–29 April 2023, Minneapolis, MN, USA



Over the last decade, the Dip-test of unimodality has gained increasing interest in the data mining community as it is a parameter-free statistical test that reliably rates the modality in one-dimensional samples. It returns a so called Dip-value and a corresponding probability for the sample's unimodality (Dip-p-value). These
two values share a sigmoidal relationship. However, the specific transformation is dependent on the sample size. Many Dip-based clustering algorithms use bootstrapped look-up tables translating Dip- to Dip-p-values for a certain limited amount of sample sizes.
We propose a specifically designed sigmoid function as a substitute for these state-of-the-art look-up tables. This accelerates computation and provides an approximation of the Dip- to Dip-p-value transformation for every single sample size.
Further, it is differentiable and can therefore easily be integrated in learning schemes using gradient descent. We showcase this by exploiting our function in a novel subspace clustering algorithm called Dip'n'Sub. We highlight in extensive experiments the various benefits of our proposal.