The Anchors Hierachy: Using the triangle inequality to survive high dimensional data

01/16/2013 ∙ by Andrew Moore, et al. ∙ 0

This paper is about metric data structures in high-dimensional or non-Euclidean space that permit cached sufficient statistics accelerations of learning algorithms. It has recently been shown that for less than about 10 dimensions, decorating kd-trees with additional "cached sufficient statistics" such as first and second moments and contingency tables can provide satisfying acceleration for a very wide range of statistical learning tasks such as kernel regression, locally weighted regression, k-means clustering, mixture modeling and Bayes Net learning. In this paper, we begin by defining the anchors hierarchy - a fast data structure and algorithm for localizing data based only on a triangle-inequality-obeying distance metric. We show how this, in its own right, gives a fast and effective clustering of data. But more importantly we show how it can produce a well-balanced structure similar to a Ball-Tree (Omohundro, 1991) or a kind of metric tree (Uhlmann, 1991; Ciaccia, Patella, & Zezula, 1997) in a way that is neither "top-down" nor "bottom-up" but instead "middle-out". We then show how this structure, decorated with cached sufficient statistics, allows a wide variety of statistical learning algorithms to be accelerated even in thousands of dimensions.

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