Web Scale Photo Hash Clustering on A Single Machine

This paper addresses the problem of clustering a very large number of photos (i.e. hundreds of millions a day) in a stream into millions of clusters. This is particularly important as the popularity of photo sharing websites, such as Facebook, Google, and Instagram... Given large number of photos available online, how to efficiently organize them is an open problem. To address this problem, we propose to cluster the binary hash codes of a large number of photos into binary cluster centers. We present a fast binary k-means algorithm that works directly on the similarity-preserving hashes of images and clusters them into binary centers on which we can build hash indexes to speedup computation. The proposed method is capable of clustering millions of photos on a single machine in a few minutes. We show that this approach is usually several magnitude faster than standard k-means and produces comparable clustering accuracy. In addition, we propose an online clustering method based on binary k-means that is capable of clustering large photo stream on a single machine, and show applications to spam detection and trending photo discovery. read more

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