The Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, Eprints Archive

Diffusion Maps: Analysis and Applications

Bah, B. (2008) Diffusion Maps: Analysis and Applications. Masters thesis, University of Oxford.



A lot of the data faced in science and engineering is not as complicated as it seems. There is the possibility of ¯nding low dimensional descriptions of this usually high dimensional data. One of the ways of achieving this is with the use of diffusion maps. Diffusion maps represent the dataset by a weighted graph in which points correspond to vertices and edges are weighted. The spectral properties of the graph Laplacian are then used to map the high dimensional data into a lower dimensional representation.

The algorithm is introduced on simple test examples for which the low dimensional description is known. Justification of the algorithm is given by showing its equivalence to a suitable minimisation problem and to random walks on graphs. The description of random walks in terms of partial di®erential equations is discussed. The heat equation for a probability density function is derived and used to further analyse the algorithm.

Applications of diffusion maps are presented at the end of this dissertation. The first application is clustering of data (i.e. partitioning of a data set into subsets so that the data points in each subset have similar characteristics). An approach based on di®usion maps (spectral clustering) is compared to the K-means clustering algorithm. We then discuss techniques for colour image quantization (reduction of distinct colours in an image). Finally, the diffusion maps are used to discover low dimensional description of high dimensional sets of images.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Subjects:O - Z > Statistics
Research Groups:Oxford Centre for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
Numerical Analysis Group
ID Code:740
Deposited By:Eprints Administrator
Deposited On:03 Oct 2008
Last Modified:20 Jul 2009 14:24

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