An Improved Density-Based Approach to Spatio-Textual Clustering on Social Media

Minh D. Nguyen, Won Yong Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Density-based spatial clustering of applications with noise (DBSCAN) is the most commonly used density-based clustering algorithm but may not be sufficient when the input data type is heterogeneous in terms of textual description. When we aim to discover clusters of geo-tagged records relevant to a particular point of interest (POI) on social media, examining only one type of input data (e.g., the tweets relevant to a POI) may draw an incomplete picture of clusters due to noisy regions. To overcome this problem, we introduce DBSTexC, a newly defined density-based clustering algorithm using spatio-textual information on social media (e.g., Twitter). We first characterize the POI-relevant and POI-irrelevant geo-tagged tweets as the texts that include and do not include a POI name or its semantically coherent variations, respectively. By leveraging the proportion of the POI-relevant and POI-irrelevant tweets, the proposed algorithm demonstrates much higher clustering performance than the DBSCAN case in terms of \mathcal {F}-{1} score and its variants. While DBSTexC performs exactly as DBSCAN with the textually homogeneous inputs, it far outperforms DBSCAN with the textually heterogeneous inputs. Furthermore, to further improve the clustering quality by fully capturing the geographic distribution of geo-tagged points, we present fuzzy DBSTexC (F-DBSTexC), an extension of DBSTexC, which incorporates the notion of fuzzy clustering into the DBSTexC. We then demonstrate the consistent superiority of F-DBSTexC over the original DBSTexC via intensive experiments. The computational complexity of our algorithms is also analytically and numerically shown.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8658072
Pages (from-to)27217-27230
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education through the Basic Science Research Program under Grant 2017R1D1A1A09000835.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013 IEEE.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)


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