NASH: Toward End-to-End Neural Architecture for Generative Semantic Hashing

Dinghan Shen, Qinliang Su, Paidamoyo Chapfuwa, Wenlin Wang, Guoyin Wang, Lawrence Carin, Ricardo Henao. ACL 2018

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ACL Deep Learning Supervised

Semantic hashing has become a powerful paradigm for fast similarity search in many information retrieval systems. While fairly successful, previous techniques generally require two-stage training, and the binary constraints are handled ad-hoc. In this paper, we present an end-to-end Neural Architecture for Semantic Hashing (NASH), where the binary hashing codes are treated as Bernoulli latent variables. A neural variational inference framework is proposed for training, where gradients are directly backpropagated through the discrete latent variable to optimize the hash function. We also draw connections between proposed method and rate-distortion theory, which provides a theoretical foundation for the effectiveness of the proposed framework. Experimental results on three public datasets demonstrate that our method significantly outperforms several state-of-the-art models on both unsupervised and supervised scenarios.