A Geometric Approach to Lower Bounds for Approximate Near-Neighbor Search and Partial Match

Rina Panigrahy, Kunal Talwar, and Udi Wieder

October 2008

This work investigates a geometric approach to proving cell probe lower bounds for data structure problems.

We consider the {\em approximate nearest neighbor search problem} on the Boolean hypercube $(\bool^d,\onenorm{\cdot})$ with $d=\Theta(\log n)$. We show that any (randomized) data structure for the problem that answers $c$-approximate nearest neighbor search queries using $t$ probes must use space at least $n^{1+\Omega(1/ct)}$. In particular, our bound implies that any data structure that uses space $\tilde{O}(n)$ with polylogarithmic word size, and with constant probability gives a constant approximation to nearest neighbor search queries must be probed $\Omega(\log n/ \log\log n)$ times. This improves on the lower bound of $\Omega(\log\log d/\log\log\log d)$ probes shown by Chakrabarti and Regev~\cite{ChakrabartiR04} for any polynomial space data structure, and the $\Omega(\log\log d)$ lower bound in \Patrascu and Thorup~\cite{PatrascuT07} for linear space data structures.

Our lower bound holds for the {\em near neighbor problem}, where the algorithm knows in advance a good approximation to the distance to the nearest neighbor.

Additionally, it is an {\em average case} lower bound for the natural distribution for the problem. Our approach also gives the same bound for $(2-\frac{1}{c})$-approximation to the farthest neighbor problem.

For the case of non-adaptive algorithms we can improve the bound slightly and show a $\Omega(\log n)$ lower bound on the time complexity of data structures with $O(n)$ space and logarithmic word size.

We also show similar lower bounds for the partial match problem: any randomized $t$-probe data structure that solves the partial match problem on $\{0,1,\star\}^d$ for $d=\Theta(\log n)$ must use space $n^{1+\Omega(1/t)}$. This implies an $\Omega(\log n/\log\log n)$ lower bound for time complexity of near linear space data structures, slightly improving the $\Omega(\log n /(\log \log n)^2)$ lower bound from~\cite{PatrascuT06a},\cite{JayramKKR03} for this range of $d$. Recently and independently \Patrascu achieved similar bounds \cite{patrascu08}. Our results also generalize to approximate partial match, improving on the bounds of \cite{BarkolR02,PatrascuT06a}.

PDF file |

In FOCS '08: Proceedings of the 49th annual IEEE Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science

Publisher IEEE

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http://www.ieee.org/

Type | Inproceedings |

Pages | 414–423 |

ISBN | 978-0-7695-3436-7 |

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