Toeplitz Inverse Covariance-Based Clustering of Multivariate Time Series Data

D. Hallac, S. Vare, S. Boyd, and J. Leskovec

Proceedings ACM SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD), 2017.

Subsequence clustering of multivariate time series is a useful tool for discovering repeated patterns in temporal data. Once these patterns have been discovered, seemingly complicated datasets can be interpreted as a temporal sequence of only a small number of states, or clusters. For example, raw sensor data from a tness-tracking application can be expressed as a timeline of a select few actions (i.e., walking, sitting, running). However, discovering these patterns is challenging because it requires simultaneous segmentation and clustering of the time series. Furthermore, interpreting the resulting clusters is di cult, especially when the data is high-dimensional. Here we propose a new method of model-based clustering, which we call Toeplitz Inverse Covariance-Based Clustering (TICC). Each cluster in the TICC method is defined by a correlation network, or Markov random field (MRF), characterizing the interdependencies between different observations in a typical subsequence of that cluster. Based on this graphical representation, TICC simultaneously segments and clusters the time series data. We solve the TICC problem through alternating minimization, using a variation of the expectation maximization (EM) algorithm. We derive closed-form solutions to efficiently solve the two resulting subproblems in a scalable way, through dynamic programming and the alternating direction method of multipliers (ADMM), respectively. We validate our approach by comparing TICC to several state-of-the-art baselines in a series of synthetic experiments, and we then demonstrate on an automobile sensor dataset how TICC can be used to learn interpretable clusters in real-world scenarios.