Randomized partition trees for exact nearest neighbor search

author: Sanjoy Dasgupta, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, UC San Diego
published: Aug. 9, 2013,   recorded: June 2013,   views: 4447


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The k-d tree was one of the first spatial data structures proposed for nearest neighbor search. Its efficacy is diminished in high-dimensional spaces, but several variants, with randomization and overlapping cells, have proved to be successful in practice. We analyze three such schemes. We show that the probability that they fail to find the nearest neighbor, for any data set and any query point, is directly related to a simple potential function that captures the difficulty of the point configuration. We then bound this potential function in two situations of interest: the first, when data come from a doubling measure, and the second, when the data are documents from a topic model.

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