Research and Advances
Computing Applications Breakthrough research: a preview of things to come

Technical Perspective: Finding a Good Neighbor, Near and Fast


You haven't read it yet, but you can already tell this article is going to be one long jumble of words, numbers, and punctuation marks. Indeed, but look at it differently, as a text classifier would, and you will see a single point in high dimension, with word frequencies acting as coordinates. Or take the background on your flat panel display: a million colorful pixels teaming up to make quite a striking picture. Yes, but also one single point in 106-dimensional space--that is, if you think of each pixel's RGB intensity as a separate coordinate. In fact, you don't need to look hard to find complex, heterogeneous data encoded as clouds of points in high dimension. They routinely surface in applications as diverse as medical imaging, bioinformatics, astrophysics, and finance.

View this article in the ACM Digital Library.

Join the Discussion (0)

Become a Member or Sign In to Post a Comment

The Latest from CACM

Shape the Future of Computing

ACM encourages its members to take a direct hand in shaping the future of the association. There are more ways than ever to get involved.

Get Involved

Communications of the ACM (CACM) is now a fully Open Access publication.

By opening CACM to the world, we hope to increase engagement among the broader computer science community and encourage non-members to discover the rich resources ACM has to offer.

Learn More