The purpose of NEPA is: To declare a national policy which will encourage productive and enjoyable harmony between man and his environment; to promote efforts which will prevent or eliminate damage to the environment and biosphere and stimulate the health and welfare of man; to enrich the understanding of the ecological systems and natural resources important to the Nation; and to establish a Council on Environmental Quality.
In the data mining community these methods are recognized as a theoretical foundation of cluster analysis, but often considered obsolete[ citation needed ]. They did however provide inspiration for many later methods such as density based clustering.
Linkage clustering examples Single-linkage on Gaussian data. At 35 clusters, the biggest cluster starts fragmenting into smaller parts, while before it was still connected to the second largest due to the single-link effect.
Single-linkage on density-based clusters. When the number of clusters is fixed to k, k-means clustering gives a formal definition as an optimization problem: The optimization problem itself is known to be NP-hardand thus the common approach is to search only for approximate solutions. A particularly well known approximate method is Lloyd's algorithm often just referred to Hcs 446 environmental impact outline "k-means algorithm" although another algorithm introduced this name.
It does however only find a local optimumand is commonly run multiple times with different random initializations. Most k-means-type algorithms require the number of clusters — k — to be specified in advance, which is considered to be one of the biggest drawbacks of these algorithms.
Furthermore, the algorithms prefer clusters of approximately similar size, as they will always assign an object to the nearest centroid.
This often leads to incorrectly cut borders of clusters which is not surprising since the algorithm optimizes cluster centers, not cluster borders.
K-means has a number of interesting theoretical properties. First, it partitions the data space into a structure known as a Voronoi diagram. Second, it is conceptually close to nearest neighbor classification, and as such is popular in machine learning.
Third, it can be seen as a variation of model based clustering, and Lloyd's algorithm as a variation of the Expectation-maximization algorithm for this model discussed below.
Clusters can then easily be defined as objects belonging most likely to the same distribution.
A convenient property of this approach is that this closely resembles the way artificial data sets are generated: While the theoretical foundation of these methods is excellent, they suffer from one key problem known as overfittingunless constraints are put on the model complexity.
A more complex model will usually be able to explain the data better, which makes choosing the appropriate model complexity inherently difficult. One prominent method is known as Gaussian mixture models using the expectation-maximization algorithm.
Here, the data set is usually modeled with a fixed to avoid overfitting number of Gaussian distributions that are initialized randomly and whose parameters are iteratively optimized to better fit the data set. This will converge to a local optimumso multiple runs may produce different results.
In order to obtain a hard clustering, objects are often then assigned to the Gaussian distribution they most likely belong to; for soft clusterings, this is not necessary. Distribution-based clustering produces complex models for clusters that can capture correlation and dependence between attributes.
However, these algorithms put an extra burden on the user: Gaussian Mixture Model clustering examples On Gaussian-distributed data, EM works well, since it uses Gaussians for modelling clusters Density-based clusters cannot be modeled using Gaussian distributions Density-based clustering[ edit ] In density-based clustering,  clusters are defined as areas of higher density than the remainder of the data set.
Objects in these sparse areas - that are required to separate clusters - are usually considered to be noise and border points. Similar to linkage based clustering, it is based on connecting points within certain distance thresholds.Outline the impact on the evolution of plants and animals of: Changes in the physical conditions in the environment: Changes in the chemical condition in the environment.
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