Density-based clustering methods for unsupervised separation of partial discharge sources

Luis Carlos Castro Heredia*, Armando Rodrigo Mor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
156 Downloads (Pure)


The recognition of partial discharge (PD) sources is an important task of the monitoring and diagnostics of high-voltage components. Nowadays, digital PD measuring systems have the capability of extracting features and form scatter plots with such data sets. Part of an unsupervised PD analysis system is to discover clusters within the data sets and link them to particular PD sources. Due to the nature of PD data sets, clusters may appear very close to each other or even merged hindering the separation of sources. Clustering methods based on spatial density such as the density peak clustering (DPC) method and DBSCAN are suitable approaches to discover clusters within PD data sets. However, their accuracy can be reduced due to the proximity among clusters. In this paper, a new method is presented to improve the accuracy of the DPC method. Our method proposes to partition the data set and later pass the resulting subsets to the DPC method. The partitioning is based on the spatial density of data computed by a smoothed density method (SD). SD has the advantage of being fast and not requiring high computational power. As a final step, a routine is applied to group the sub clusters as per the DPC method having a threshold for the data contour distance as a criterion. This method proved higher accuracy to discover clusters in actual PD data sets. However, the threshold for the data contour distance still needs further research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-230
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Electrical Power and Energy Systems
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Clustering
  • DPC
  • Partial discharge
  • Spatial density


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