Study of traffic-emitted lead pollution of soil and plants using different fuzzy clustering algorithms

Sârbu, Costel; Einax, Jürgen W.
March 2008
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry;Mar2008, Vol. 390 Issue 5, p1293
Academic Journal
We discuss the clustering of 234 environmental samples resulting from an extensive monitoring program concerning soil lead content, plant lead content, traffic density, and distance from the road at different sampling locations in former East Germany. Considering the structure of data and the unsatisfactory results obtained applying classical clustering and principal component analysis, it appeared evident that fuzzy clustering could be one of the best solutions. In the following order we used different fuzzy clustering algorithms, namely, the fuzzy c-means (FCM) algorithm, the Gustafson–Kessel (GK) algorithm, which may detect clusters of ellipsoidal shapes in data by introducing an adaptive distance norm for each cluster, and the fuzzy c-varieties (FCV) algorithm, which was developed for recognition of r-dimensional linear varieties in high-dimensional data (lines, planes or hyperplanes). Fuzzy clustering with convex combination of point prototypes and different multidimensional linear prototypes is also discussed and applied for the first time in analytical chemistry (environmetrics). The results obtained in this study show the advantages of the FCV and GK algorithms over the FCM algorithm. The performance of each algorithm is illustrated by graphs and evaluated by the values of some conventional cluster validity indices. The values of the validity indices are in very good agreement with the quality of the clustering results. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]


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