C-MinHash: Rigorously Reducing K Permutations to Two

by   Xiaoyun Li, et al.

Minwise hashing (MinHash) is an important and practical algorithm for generating random hashes to approximate the Jaccard (resemblance) similarity in massive binary (0/1) data. The basic theory of MinHash requires applying hundreds or even thousands of independent random permutations to each data vector in the dataset, in order to obtain reliable results for (e.g.,) building large-scale learning models or approximate near neighbor search in massive data. In this paper, we propose Circulant MinHash (C-MinHash) and provide the surprising theoretical results that we just need two independent random permutations. For C-MinHash, we first conduct an initial permutation on the data vector, then we use a second permutation to generate hash values. Basically, the second permutation is re-used K times via circulant shifting to produce K hashes. Unlike classical MinHash, these K hashes are obviously correlated, but we are able to provide rigorous proofs that we still obtain an unbiased estimate of the Jaccard similarity and the theoretical variance is uniformly smaller than that of the classical MinHash with K independent permutations. The theoretical proofs of C-MinHash require some non-trivial efforts. Numerical experiments are conducted to justify the theory and demonstrate the effectiveness of C-MinHash.


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