Asymmetric LSH (ALSH) for Sublinear Time Maximum Inner Product Search (MIPS)

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 27 (NIPS 2014)

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Anshumali Shrivastava, Ping Li


We present the first provably sublinear time hashing algorithm for approximate \emph{Maximum Inner Product Search} (MIPS). Searching with (un-normalized) inner product as the underlying similarity measure is a known difficult problem and finding hashing schemes for MIPS was considered hard. While the existing Locality Sensitive Hashing (LSH) framework is insufficient for solving MIPS, in this paper we extend the LSH framework to allow asymmetric hashing schemes. Our proposal is based on a key observation that the problem of finding maximum inner products, after independent asymmetric transformations, can be converted into the problem of approximate near neighbor search in classical settings. This key observation makes efficient sublinear hashing scheme for MIPS possible. Under the extended asymmetric LSH (ALSH) framework, this paper provides an example of explicit construction of provably fast hashing scheme for MIPS. Our proposed algorithm is simple and easy to implement. The proposed hashing scheme leads to significant computational savings over the two popular conventional LSH schemes: (i) Sign Random Projection (SRP) and (ii) hashing based on $p$-stable distributions for $L_2$ norm (L2LSH), in the collaborative filtering task of item recommendations on Netflix and Movielens (10M) datasets.