Google Research

Stochastic Generative Hashing

ICML 2017

Abstract

Learning-based binary hashing has become a powerful paradigm for fast search and retrieval in massive databases. However, due to the requirement of discrete outputs for the hash functions, learning such functions is known to be very challenging. In addition, the objective functions adopted by existing hashing techniques are mostly chosen heuristically. In this paper, we propose a novel generative approach to learn hash functions through Minimum Description Length principle such that the learned hash codes maximally compress the dataset and can also be used to regenerate the inputs. We also develop an efficient learning algorithm based on the stochastic distributional gradient, which avoids the notorious difficulty caused by binary output constraints, to jointly optimize the parameters of the hash function and the associated generative model. Extensive experiments on a variety of large-scale datasets show that the proposed method achieves better retrieval results than the existing state-of-the-art methods.

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