Many problems can be reduced to the problem of combining multiple clusterings. In this paper, we first summarize different application scenarios of combining multiple clusterings and provide a new perspective of viewing the problem as a categorical clustering problem. We then show the connections between various consensus and clustering criteria and discuss the complexity results of the problem. Finally we propose a new method to determine the final clustering. Experiments on kinship terms and clustering popular music from heterogeneous feature sets show the effectiveness of combining multiple clusterings. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.