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Maximum-Margin Hamming Hashing

Rong Kang, Yue Cao, Mingsheng Long (B), Jianmin Wang, and Philip S. Yu. ICCV 2019


Deep hashing enables computation and memory efficient image search through end-to-end learning of feature representations and binary codes. While linear scan over binary hash codes is more efficient than over the high-dimensional representations, its linear-time complexity is still unacceptable for very large databases. Hamming space retrieval enables constant-time search through hash lookups, where for each query, there is a Hamming ball centered at the query and the data points within the ball are returned as relevant. Since inside the Hamming ball implies retrievable while outside irretrievable, it is crucial to explicitly characterize the Hamming ball. The main idea of this work is to directly embody the Hamming radius into the loss functions, leading to Maximum-Margin Hamming Hashing (MMHH), a new model specifically optimized for Hamming space retrieval. We introduce a max-margin t-distribution loss, where the t-distribution concentrates more similar data points to be within the Hamming ball, and the margin characterizes the Hamming radius such that less penalization is applied to similar data points within the Hamming ball. The loss function also introduces robustness to data noise, where the similarity supervision may be inaccurate in practical problems. The model is trained end-to-end using a new semi-batch optimization algorithm tailored to extremely imbalanced data. Our method yields state-of-the-art results on four datasets and shows superior performance on noisy data.