Estimation and model selection for model-based clustering with the conditional classification likelihood

Abstract : The Integrated Completed Likelihood (ICL) criterion has been proposed by Biernacki et al. (2000) in the model-based clustering framework to select a relevant number of classes and has been used by statisticians in various application areas. A theoretical study of this criterion is proposed. A contrast related to the clustering objective is introduced: the conditional classification likelihood. This yields an estimator and a model selection criteria class. The properties of these new procedures are studied and ICL is proved to be an approximation of one of these criteria. We oppose these results to the current leading point of view about ICL, that it would not be consistent. Moreover these results give insights into the class notion underlying ICL and feed a reflection on the class notion in clustering. General results on penalized minimum contrast criteria and on mixture models are derived, which are interesting in their own right.
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Jean-Patrick Baudry. Estimation and model selection for model-based clustering with the conditional classification likelihood. Electronic journal of statistics , Shaker Heights, OH : Institute of Mathematical Statistics, 2015, 9 (1), pp.1041-1077. ⟨10.1214/15-EJS1026⟩. ⟨hal-00699578v2⟩

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