Hamming Distance Metric Learning

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 25 (NIPS 2012)

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Mohammad Norouzi, David J. Fleet, Russ R. Salakhutdinov


Motivated by large-scale multimedia applications we propose to learn mappings from high-dimensional data to binary codes that preserve semantic similarity. Binary codes are well suited to large-scale applications as they are storage efficient and permit exact sub-linear kNN search. The framework is applicable to broad families of mappings, and uses a flexible form of triplet ranking loss. We overcome discontinuous optimization of the discrete mappings by minimizing a piecewise-smooth upper bound on empirical loss, inspired by latent structural SVMs. We develop a new loss-augmented inference algorithm that is quadratic in the code length. We show strong retrieval performance on CIFAR-10 and MNIST, with promising classification results using no more than kNN on the binary codes.