Table of Contents
ISRN Machine Vision
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 405680, 8 pages
Research Article

Fast Exact Nearest Neighbour Matching in High Dimensions Using -D Sort

Image and Video Research Laboratory, Queensland University of Technology, GPO Box 2434, 2 George Street, Brisbane, QLD 4001, Australia

Received 17 December 2012; Accepted 5 January 2013

Academic Editors: O. Ghita and S. Mattoccia

Copyright © 2013 Ruan Lakemond et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Data structures such as -D trees and hierarchical -means trees perform very well in approximate nearest neighbour matching, but are only marginally more effective than linear search when performing exact matching in high-dimensional image descriptor data. This paper presents several improvements to linear search that allows it to outperform existing methods and recommends two approaches to exact matching. The first method reduces the number of operations by evaluating the distance measure in order of significance of the query dimensions and terminating when the partial distance exceeds the search threshold. This method does not require preprocessing and significantly outperforms existing methods. The second method improves query speed further by presorting the data using a data structure called -D sort. The order information is used as a priority queue to reduce the time taken to find the exact match and to restrict the range of data searched. Construction of the -D sort structure is very simple to implement, does not require any parameter tuning, and requires significantly less time than the best-performing tree structure, and data can be added to the structure relatively efficiently.