Graph Partition Model for Robust Temporal Data Segmentation Jinhui Yuan , Bo Zhang, and Fuzong Lin State Key Laboratory of Intelligent Technology and System, Department of Computer Science and Technology, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, P.R.China [email protected] {dcszb, linfz} Abstract. This paper proposes a novel temporal data segmentation approach based on a graph partition model. To find the optimal segmentation, which maintains maximal connectivity within the same segment while keeping minimum association between different ones, we adopt the min-max cut as an objective function. For temporal data, a linear time algorithm is designed by importing the temporal constraints. With multi-pair comparison strategy, the proposed method is more robust than the existing pair-wise comparison ones. The experiments on TRECVID benchmarking platform demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach.



Temporal data mining is a rapidly evolving area of research. Similar to other application fields, data segmentation is the fundamental task to temporal data mining. Only after the segmentation, can the subsequent analysis of temporal data, such as clustering, classification and association rules mining, be carried out. Conventionally, temporal data are modelled as time series. To the day, numerous approaches for segmenting time series have been proposed [1]. However, with pair-wise comparison strategy, most of them are sensitive to noises. To overcome the drawbacks, this paper proposes a novel temporal data segmentation method based on graph partition model. In the method, multi-pair comparison is performed. Meanwhile, a linear time algorithm is designed by importing the temporal constraints. The experiments show that the proposed approach is more robust than existing ones but less efficient. The rest of this paper is organized as follows. In the next section, the graph partition model with temporal constraints is introduced. In Section 3, we propose a temporal segmentation algorithm based on the above model. In Section 4, the proposed algorithm is evaluated on the TRECVID benchmarking platform and compared to existing approaches. Finally, the conclusion is made in Section 5. 

Supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (60135010, 60321002) and Chinese National Key Foundation Research & Development Plan (2004CB318108).

T.B. Ho, D. Cheung, and H. Liu (Eds.): PAKDD 2005, LNAI 3518, pp. 758–763, 2005. c Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2005 

Graph Partition Model for Robust Temporal Data Segmentation



Graph Partition Model

Clustering based on graph partition model has attracted a great interest recently [2]. Although so far there has been no good algorithms of polynomial time for the general graph partition problem, linear time algorithm exists for the one with the temporal constraints. 2.1

Computing Segmentation with Graph Cuts

Given an undirected, weighted graph G = G(V, E) with a set of nodes V , a set of edges E. Assume |V | = N , namely, there are N nodes in graph G. Let wij denote the weight of edge e(i, j) ∈ E, i.e., the similarity between nodes i and j. The larger the wij , the more similar between nodes i and j. To introduce the graph partition model more clearly, we first present some graph terminologies. A graph with 14 nodes and the related terminologies are depicted in Figure 1.








Fig. 1. Left: A graph with 14 nodes. Right: The visualization of similarity matrix of the left graph. wij is defined as the reciprocal of Euclidean distance of the nodes i and j. The stronger the connectivity between i and j, the brighter the entry (i, j) is

Definition 1. The similarity matrix W is a N ×N symmetric matrix, in which entry wij represents the similarity of nodes i and j. Definition 2. The  cut which divides graph G into subgraphs A and B is defined as: cut(A, B) = i∈A,j∈B wij . Definition 3. The association of subgraph A is defined as: assoc(A) =  w . ij i,j∈A Given a data set, a graph can be constructed by treating each sample as a node and linking an edge between each pair of the nodes. By defining the weight of the edge as the similarity of the samples, clustering can be formulated as a graph partition problem. In this way, the graph partition model helps to define more appropriate criteria. Initially, minimum cut is proposed to be a partition objective function. To avoid skewed cut, other objectives such as ratio cut, normalized cut and min-max cut are proposed successively [2]. From the point of


J. Yuan, B. Zhang, and F. Lin

view of clustering, min-max cut, defined by Equation 1, which tries to minimize the association between the two subgraphs while maximize the association within each subgraph, gives the best criterion: M cut(A, B) =

cut(A, B) cut(A, B) + . assoc(A) assoc(B)


Unfortunately, this problem is NP-complete because of its combinatoric nature. An approximate optimal solution can be yielded by spectral graph theory[2]. However, it still is not able to deal with a huge amount of data because of the large calculation during the process of matrix spectral decomposition.





Fig. 2. A full graph with 4 nodes. The broken line indicates the positions of the feasible cuts. With temporal constraints, the size of feasible set is 3, otherwise, 10


Cuts with Temporal Constraints

When applied to temporal data, clustering based on graph partition model must satisfy some temporal constraints. For example, in temporal data segmentation, the method should guarantee the temporal continuity of each cluster. More pricisely, once two unadjacent samples belong to a cluster, any one between them must be grouped into the same cluster. By importing this temporal constraints, a feasible cut can only occur at one of the N−1 possible positions between any two adjacent samples. Thus, the size of feasible set is reduced from exponential to N−1, as illustrated in Figure 2. To get the optimal solution, we just need to compute the N−1 possible values, and then select the minimum one through a linear search. Formally, we define score(i) as the objective function of the i-th feasible cut: score(i) = M cut({1, 2, · · · , i}, {i + 1, i + 2, · · · , N }).


Then the cut with minimal score is the optimal solution.


Temporal Segmentation Algorithm

In Section 2, we only introduce the problem of partitioning a graph into two subgraphs. To segment data into more than two segments, we can partition the data recursively. In summary, the segmentation algorithm of the temporal data consists of the following steps:

Graph Partition Model for Robust Temporal Data Segmentation


1 1 0.9

2 0.8











0.5 5

0.4 6








Fig. 3. Left: The full graph of a temporal sequence, in which the third sample is affected by noises. Right: The similarity matrix of the right graph

Step 1. Given a data set, construct a weighted graph G = G(V, E). Treat each sample as a node and link each other by an edge. Step 2. Compute wij , the weight of each edge, to obtain similarity matrix W. Step 3. Calculate scores of the N−1 feasible cuts according to Equation 2. The cut with minimum score is the optimal partition. Step 4. Recursively partition the segmented sequences if necessary. Similar to the spectral clustering algorithms, the weight wij is usually defined as [2]:  −i−j2 2 2 if |i − j| < 2r wij = sim(i, j) × e σ (3) 0 otherwise where r is the size of the active weight matrix, outside of which the entries contribute little to objective function. Meanwhile, it is not necessary to involve all the entries while computing each score. Different from Equation 2, we redefine score(i) = M cut({i − 2r , · · · , i}, {i + 1, · · · , i + 2r }), and thus the computation is constrained in a matrix of size r × r. With a temporal sequence of length N , considering the overlap of two successive active matrices, the overall time complexity is O(N r). Compared with spectral clustering methods, it is much more efficient. Another prominent advantage of the approach is the robustness, since it makes decisions via multi-pair comparison strategy. As shown in Figure 3, the third sample is affected by noises and varies greatly from the second one. The methods based on pairwise comparison may consider it the boundary of two different segments and thus cause an over-segmentation. While with the proposed approach, the strong connectivity among the samples before and after the third one makes it unlikely to separate the sequence to two parts. Noises disturb the segmentation little.



In this section, the proposed approach is implemented to perform video temporal segmentation and evaluated on the TRECVID benchmarking platform [3]. The 2003 test collections for shot boundary detection task is used for training, and the 2004 collection for testing. F1 measure is adopted to rank the performance of


J. Yuan, B. Zhang, and F. Lin 1







0.7 Fixed Threshold Graph+Fixed Threshold Sliding Window Graph+SVM















Video index

Fig. 4. Performance comparison of the four different approaches over 12 videos

the different algorithms [6]. Two graph-based methods and two non-graph ones are implemented for comparison, and they are: 1. Fixed Threshold: Directly compare content variation with an appropriate threshold 2 . If the variation is below 1 , a shot boundary is declared. 2. Sliding Window: Employ a window of width 2w + 1 to slide along the temporal axis, and takes λ times of the average variation within the window as 1 . The other procedure is the same as the 1-st method [5]. 3. Graph+Fixed Threshold: Directly compare the score with an appropriate threshold 2 . If the score is below , a shot boundary is declared. 4. Graph+SVM: Firstly, the 3-rd approach with a low enough 2 is employed to select the boundary candidates. Then extract the score features around the candidates and train a support vector machine to distinguish boundaries and non-boundaries(abbreviated for the page limitation, see details in [7]). Totally 10928, including 3048 positive and 7880 negative, 11-dimension samples are used to train SVM of a Gauss kernel function. The training process spends about 481 seconds and 1308 support vectors left. After the training on 2003 data set, the best parameter settings for each method are as follows: 1 = 0.85 for Fixed Threshold, w = 4 and λ = 3.0 for Sliding Window, r = 10 for both the graph based methods, 2 = 0.18 for Graph+Fixed Threshold, for the SVM method,the standard deviation std = 1.0. Their performance on the 2004 data set is depicted in Figure 4 and the elapsed time is in Table 1. Of the 12 videos, the fifth and the seventh video have more abrupt illumination changes and more great object or camera movement. As Figure 4 shows, non-graph based methods suffer evident drops of performance over these difficult videos. Both the graph-based methods perform excellently and robustly. In Graph+Fixed Threshold, even employing a single global threshold 2 , the performance is comparable

Graph Partition Model for Robust Temporal Data Segmentation


Table 1. Elapsed time of the four algorithms (Unit: second). They are all evaluated on an Intel Pentium 1.51GHz machine with 256M memory. The 12 testing videos consist of total 583,623 frames Fixed Threshold 25.6

Sliding Window 26.0

Graph+FH 74.3

Graph+SVM 100.3

to that of Sliding Window. Graph+SVM method performs best on all the videos but spends about three times of time more than non-graph based ones.


Conclusions and Discussions

In this paper, we propose a novel robust temporal data segmentation algorithm based on graph partition model. The method segments temporal sequence via multi-pair comparison strategy, and therefore is more robust to various noises than the existing pairwise comparison ones. By importing temporal constraints, linear time algorithm is designed to seek the optimal graph partition. The experiments on the TRECVID benchmarking platform show that the proposed approach is more robust. However, this paper has only focused on detecting abrupt transitions. To deal with gradual transitions, incorporating multi-scale strategy may be a promising direction.

References 1. E. Keogh, et al, Segmenting time series: a survey and novel approach, Data Mining in Time Series Databases, World Scientific Publishing Company, 2003 2. C. Ding, et al, A min-max cut algorithm for graph partitioning and data clustering. Proc. IEEE Int’l Conf. Data Mining, pp.107-114, 2001 3. A. F. Smeaton, et al, TRECVID: Evaluating the effectiveness of information retrieval tasks on digital video. In Proceedings of the ACM MM’04,pp. 652-655,2004 4. M.R. Naphade,et al, A high-performance shot boundary detection algorithm using multiple cues, International Conference on Image Processing, vol.3, 1998 5. Boon-Lock Yeo and Bede Liu, Rapid scene analysis on compressed video, IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology, vol.5, pp.533-544, 1995 6. C. J. van Rijsbergen. Information Retireval. Butterworths, London, 1979 7. Jinhui Yuan, et al, A robust temporal data segmentation method base on graph partition model, Technical Report, Department of Computer Science and Technology, Tsinghua University, 2004

Graph Partition Model for Robust Temporal Data ...

Temporal data mining is a rapidly evolving area of research. Similar to other application fields, data segmentation is the fundamental task to temporal data.

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