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This paper proposes an unsupervised algorithm for learning a finite Dirichlet mixture model. An important part of the unsupervised learning problem is determining the number of clusters which best describe the data. We extend the minimum message length (MML) principle to determine the number of clusters in the case of Dirichlet mixtures. Parameter estimation is done by the expectation-maximization algorithm. The resulting method is validated for one-dimensional and multidimensional data. For the one-dimensional data, the experiments concern artificial and real SAR image histograms. The validation for multidimensional data involves synthetic data and two real applications: shadow detection in images and summarization of texture image databases for efficient retrieval. A comparison with results obtained for other selection criteria is provided.
Finite mixture models, Dirichlet mixture, EM, MML, SAR images, shadow modeling, texture summarization.

D. Ziou and N. Bouguila, "Unsupervised Selection of a Finite Dirichlet Mixture Model: An MML-Based Approach," in IEEE Transactions on Knowledge & Data Engineering, vol. 18, no. , pp. 993-1009, 2006.
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