Fixed Queries Array: A Fast and Economical Data Structure for Proximity Searching

Edgar Chávez and José Luis Marroquín and Gonzalo Navarro

Pivot-based algorithms are effective tools for proximity searching in metric spaces. They allow trading space overhead for number of distance evaluations performed at query time. With additional search structures (that pose extra space overhead) they can also reduce the amount of side computations. We introduce a new data structure, the Fixed Queries Array (FQA), whose novelties are (1) it permits sublinear extra CPU time without any extra data structure; (2) it permits trading number of pivots for their precision so as to make better use of the available memory. We show experimentally that the FQA is an efficient tool to search in metric spaces and that it compares favorably against other state of the art approaches. Its simplicity converts it into a simple yet effective tool for practitioners seeking for a black-box method to plug in their applications.