Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2018 Edition
| Editors: Ling Liu, M. Tamer Özsu

Indexing and Similarity Search

  • Michail Vlachos
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_615

Synonyms

Data organization; Hierarchical data organization; Space partitioning; Space segmentation

Definition

Indexing refers to the process of efficient data organization. It is closely related to similarity search because it allows such costly operations over a large dataset of objects to be efficiently sped up. Indices (or indexes) are hierarchical structures that direct the search to the most promising part of the database, hence eliminating from examination a large portion of objects. One can make the analogy with phone books, where all entries are recorded in sorted alphabetical order; therefore search involves only the lookup at the relevant portion of the book.

Historical Background

Traditional indexing structures include the B-trees. However, B-trees organize the data based on a single attribute/feature. Many of todays multimedia data contain hundreds or thousands of features. As an example, a small B&W image of 50 × 50 pixels contains 2500 points/features. In order to...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IBM T.J. Watson Research CenterHawthorneUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Dimitrios Gunopulos
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer Science and EngineeringThe University of California at Riverside, Bourns College of EngineeringRiversideUSA