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Time-Inhomogeneous Diffusion Geometry and Topology
Guillaume Huguet, Alexander Tong, Bastian Rieck, Jessie Huang, Manik Kuchroo, Matthew Hirn, Guy Wolf, Smita Krishnaswamy
Diffusion condensation is a dynamic process that yields a sequence of multiscale data representations that aim to encode meaningful abstractions. It has proven effective for manifold learning, denoising, clustering, and visualization of high-dimensional data. Diffusion condensation is constructed as a time-inhomogeneous process where each step first computes and then applies a diffusion operator to the data. We theoretically analyze the convergence and evolution of this process from geometric, spectral, and topological perspectives. From a geometric perspective, we obtain convergence bounds based on the smallest transition probability and the radius of the data, whereas from a spectral perspective, our bounds are based on the eigenspectrum of the diffusion kernel. Our spectral results are of particular interest since most of the literature on data diffusion is focused on homogeneous processes. From a topological perspective, we show diffusion condensation generalizes centroid-based hierarchical clustering. We use this perspective to obtain a bound based on the number of data points, independent of their location. To understand the evolution of the data geometry beyond convergence, we use topological data analysis. We show that the condensation process itself defines an intrinsic diffusion homology. We use this intrinsic topology as well as an ambient topology to study how the data changes over diffusion time. We demonstrate both homologies in well-understood toy examples. Our work gives theoretical insights into the convergence of diffusion condensation, and shows that it provides a link between topological and geometric data analysis.
Branching and Circular Features in High Dimensional Data
B. Wang, B. Summa, V. Pascucci, M. Vejdemo-Johansson
Large observations and simulations in scientific research give rise to high-dimensional data sets that present many challenges and opportunities in data analysis and visualization. Researchers in application domains such as engineering, computational biology, climate study, imaging and motion capture are faced with the problem of how to discover compact representations of highdimensional data while preserving their intrinsic structure. In many applications, the original data is projected onto low-dimensional space via dimensionality reduction techniques prior to modeling. One problem with this approach is that the projection step in the process can fail to preserve structure in the data that is only apparent in high dimensions. Conversely, such techniques may create structural illusions in the projection, implying structure not present in the original high-dimensional data. Our solution is to utilize topological techniques to recover important structures in high-dimensional data that contains non-trivial topology. Specifically, we are interested in high-dimensional branching structures. We construct local circle-valued coordinate functions to represent such features. Subsequently, we perform dimensionality reduction on the data while ensuring such structures are visually preserved. Additionally, we study the effects of global circular structures on visualizations. Our results reveal never-before-seen structures on real-world data sets from a variety of applications.