Clustering vs. classification
The two terms clustering and classification are extensively used throughout this thesis. The question that rises at this point is: are they synonymous or is there a distinction...
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...ion is that clustering is an “unsupervised” activity while classification is a supervised one. In clustering, there is no one who assigns documents to classes but it is only the distribution and makeup of the data that will determine cluster membership (Manning et al., 2008).
To illustrate the argument, let us consider the following example. Having a set of 1000 documents on the history of English literature, these can be both clustered and classified. In performing a clustering task, documents are just clustered into distinct groups where similar or related documents are grouped together. In classification, on the other hand, predefined sets are given first. These can be Old English literature, Shakespearean literature, Augustan Literature, Romantic Literature, and Victorian Literature. Then documents are placed or classified under these predefined categories.
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