Learning hierarchical graph neural networks for image clustering
We propose a hierarchical graph neural network (GNN) model that learns how to cluster a set of images into an unknown number of identities using a training set of images annotated with labels belonging to a disjoint set of identities. Our hierarchical GNN uses a novel approach to merge connected components predicted at each level of the hierarchy to form a new graph at the next level. Unlike fully unsupervised hierarchical clustering, the choice of grouping and complexity criteria stems naturally from supervision in the training set. The resulting method, Hi-LANDER, achieves an average of 49% improvement in F-score and 7% increase in Normalized Mutual Information (NMI) relative to current GNN-based clustering algorithms. Additionally, state-of-the-art GNN-based methods rely on separate models to predict linkage probabilities and node densities as intermediate steps of the clustering process. In contrast, our unified framework achieves a three-fold decrease in computational cost. Our training and inference code are released.