Isotropic Hashing

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

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Weihao Kong, Wu-jun Li


Most existing hashing methods adopt some projection functions to project the original data into several dimensions of real values, and then each of these projected dimensions is quantized into one bit (zero or one) by thresholding. Typically, the variances of different projected dimensions are different for existing projection functions such as principal component analysis (PCA). Using the same number of bits for different projected dimensions is unreasonable because larger-variance dimensions will carry more information. Although this viewpoint has been widely accepted by many researchers, it is still not verified by either theory or experiment because no methods have been proposed to find a projection with equal variances for different dimensions. In this paper, we propose a novel method, called isotropic hashing (IsoHash), to learn projection functions which can produce projected dimensions with isotropic variances (equal variances). Experimental results on real data sets show that IsoHash can outperform its counterpart with different variances for different dimensions, which verifies the viewpoint that projections with isotropic variances will be better than those with anisotropic variances.