Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 (NeurIPS 2022) Main Conference Track

*Yichuan Deng, Zhao Song, OMRI WEINSTEIN, Ruizhe Zhang*

In the \emph{Distance Oracle} problem, the goal is to preprocess $n$ vectors $x_1, x_2, \cdots, x_n$ in a $d$-dimensional normed space $(\mathbb{X}^d, \| \cdot \|_l)$ into a cheap data structure, so that given a query vector $q \in \mathbb{X}^d$, all distances $\| q - x_i \|_l$ to the data points $\{x_i\}_{i\in [n]}$ can be quickly approximated (faster than the trivial $\sim nd$ query time). This primitive is a basic subroutine in machine learning, data mining and similarity search applications. In the case of $\ell_p$ norms, the problem is well understood, and optimal data structures are known for most values of $p$. Our main contribution is a fast $(1\pm \varepsilon)$ distance oracle for \emph{any symmetric} norm $\|\cdot\|_l$. This class includes $\ell_p$ norms and Orlicz norms as special cases, as well as other norms used in practice, e.g. top-$k$ norms, max-mixture and sum-mixture of $\ell_p$ norms, small-support norms and the box-norm. We propose a novel data structure with $\tilde{O}(n (d + \mathrm{mmc}(l)^2 ) )$ preprocessing time and space, and $t_q = \tilde{O}(d + n \cdot \mathrm{mmc}(l)^2)$ query time, where $\mathrm{mmc}(l)$ is a complexity-measure (modulus) of the symmetric norm under consideration. When $l = \ell_{p}$ , this runtime matches the aforementioned state-of-art oracles.

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