Kernel fuzzy c-means (KFCM) is a significantly improved version of fuzzy c-means (FCM) for processing linearly inseparable datasets. However, for fuzzification parameter m=1, the problem of KFCM (kernel fuzzy c-means) cannot be solved by Lagrangian optimization. To solve this problem, an equivalent model, called kernel probabilistic k-means (KPKM), is proposed here. The novel model relates KFCM to kernel k-means (KKM) in a unified mathematic framework. Moreover, the proposed KPKM can be addressed by the active gradient projection (AGP) method, which is a nonlinear programming technique with constraints of linear equalities and linear inequalities. To accelerate the AGP method, a fast AGP (FAGP) algorithm was designed. The proposed FAGP uses a maximum-step strategy to estimate the step length, and uses an iterative method to update the projection matrix. Experiments demonstrated the effectiveness of the proposed method through a performance comparison of KPKM with KFCM, KKM, FCM and k-means. Experiments showed that the proposed KPKM is able to find nonlinearly separable structures in synthetic datasets. Ten real UCI datasets were used in this study, and KPKM had better clustering performance on at least six datsets. The proposed fast AGP requires less running time than the original AGP, and it reduced running time by 76-95% on real datasets.
Keywords: fast active gradient projection; fuzzy c-means; kernel probabilistic k-means; nonlinear programming.