Revisiting Sequential Information Bottleneck: New Implementation and Evaluation
We introduce a modern, optimized, and publicly available implementation of the sequential Information Bottleneck clustering algorithm, which strikes a highly competitive balance between clustering quality and speed. We describe a set of optimizations that make the algorithm computation more efficient, particularly for the common case of sparse data representation. The results are substantiated by an extensive evaluation that compares the algorithm to commonly used alternatives, focusing on the practically important use case of text clustering. The evaluation covers a range of publicly available benchmark datasets and a set of clustering setups employing modern word and sentence embeddings obtained by state-of-the-art neural models. The results show that in spite of using the more basic Term-Frequency representation, the proposed implementation provides a highly attractive trade-off between quality and speed that outperforms the alternatives considered. This new release facilitates the use of the algorithm in real-world applications of text clustering.