Document Type


Date of Award

Spring 5-31-2005

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Computing Sciences - (Ph.D.)


Computer Science

First Advisor

Alexander Thomasian

Second Advisor

Narain Gehani

Third Advisor

Vincent Oria

Fourth Advisor

Dimitri Theodoratos

Fifth Advisor

Jian Yang


The emergence of novel database applications has resulted in the prevalence of a new paradigm for similarity search. These applications include multimedia databases, medical imaging databases, time series databases, DNA and protein sequence databases, and many others. Features of data objects are extracted and transformed into high-dimensional data points. Searching for objects becomes a search on points in the high-dimensional feature space. The dissimilarity between two objects is determined by the distance between two feature vectors. Similarity search is usually implemented as nearest neighbor search in feature vector spaces. The cost of processing k-nearest neighbor (k-NN) queries via a sequential scan increases as the number of objects and the number of features increase. A variety of multi-dimensional index structures have been proposed to improve the efficiency of k-NN query processing, which work well in low-dimensional space but lose their efficiency in high-dimensional space due to the curse of dimensionality. This inefficiency is dealt in this study by Clustering and Singular Value Decomposition - CSVD with indexing, Persistent Main Memory - PMM index, and Stepwise Dimensionality Increasing - SDI-tree index.

CSVD is an approximate nearest neighbor search method. The performance of CSVD with indexing is studied and the approximation to the distance in original space is investigated. For a given Normalized Mean Square Error - NMSE, the higher the degree of clustering, the higher the recall. However, more clusters require more disk page accesses. Certain number of clusters can be obtained to achieve a higher recall while maintaining a relatively lower query processing cost.

Clustering and Indexing using Persistent Main Memory - CIPMM framework is motivated by the following consideration: (a) a significant fraction of index pages are accessed randomly, incurring a high positioning time for each access; (b) disk transfer rate is improving 40% annually, while the improvement in positioning time is only 8%; (c) query processing incurs less CPU time for main memory resident than disk resident indices. CIPMM aims at reducing the elapsed time for query processing by utilizing sequential, rather than random disk accesses. A specific instance of the CIPMM framework CIPOP, indexing using Persistent Ordered Partition - OP-tree, is elaborated and compared with clustering and indexing using the SR-tree, CISR. The results show that CIPOP outperforms CISR, and the higher the dimensionality, the higher the performance gains.

The SDI-tree index is motivated by fanouts decrease with dimensionality increasing and shorter vectors reduce cache misses. The index is built by using feature vectors transformed via principal component analysis, resulting in a structure with fewer dimensions at higher levels and increasing the number of dimensions from one level to the other. Dimensions are retained in nonincreasing order of their variance according to a parameter p, which specifies the incremental fraction of variance at each level of the index. Experiments on three datasets have shown that SDL-trees with carefully tuned parameters access fewer disk accesses than SR-trees and VAMSR-trees and incur less CPU time than VA-Files in addition.



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