# HNSW.jl

Approximate Nearest Neighbor Searches using the
"Hierarchical Navigable Small World" (**HNSW**) algorithm
as described in https://arxiv.org/abs/1603.09320 .

### Highlights

- Written in Julia - no non-julian dependencies
- Supports incremental index creation
- Works with arbitrary distance functions
- Is data-agnostic - can work with data of arbitrary types given a corresponding distance function

### Creating an Index

An Index in this library is a struct of type `HierarchicalNSW`

which can be constructed using:

```
hnsw = HierarchicalNSW(data; metric, M, efConstruction)
```

`data`

: This is an`AbstractVector`

of the data points to be used.`metric = Euclidean()`

: The metric to use for distance calculation. Any metric defined in`Distances.jl`

should work as well as any type for which`evaluate(::CustomMetric, x,y)`

is implemented.`M = 10`

: The maximum number of links per node on a level >1. Note that value highly influences recall depending on data.`M0 = 2M`

: The maximum number of links on the bottom layer (=1). Defaults to`M0 = 2M`

.`efConstruction = 100`

: Maximum length of dynamic link lists during index creation. Low values may reduce recall but large values increase runtime of index creation.`ef = 10`

: Maximum length of dynamic link lists during search. May be changed afterwards using`set_ef!(hnsw, value)`

`m_L = 1/log(M)`

: Prefactor for random level generation.`max_elements = length(data)`

: May be set to a larger value in case one wants to add elements to the structure after initial creation.

Once the `HierarchicalNSW`

struct is initialized the search graph can be built by calling

```
add_to_graph!(hnsw [, indices])
```

which iteratively inserts all points from `data`

into the graph.
Optionally one may provide `indices`

a subset of all the indices
in `data`

to partially to construct the graph.

### Searching

Given an initialized `HierarchicalNSW`

one can search for approximate nearest
neighbors using

```
idxs, dists = knn_search(hnsw, query, k)
```

where `query`

may either be a single point of type `eltype(data)`

or a vector of such points.

## A simple example:

```
using HNSW
dim = 10
num_elements = 10000
data = [rand(dim) for i=1:num_elements]
#Intialize HNSW struct
hnsw = HierarchicalNSW(data; efConstruction=100, M=16, ef=50)
#Add all data points into the graph
#Optionally pass a subset of the indices in data to partially construct the graph
add_to_graph!(hnsw)
queries = [rand(dim) for i=1:1000]
k = 10
# Find k (approximate) nearest neighbors for each of the queries
idxs, dists = knn_search(hnsw, queries, k)
```

## Multi-Threading

A multi-threaded version of this algorithm is available.
To use it, checkout the branch `multi-threaded`

and start the indexing with:

` add_to_graph!(hnsw; multithreading=true)`

For multi-threaded searches add `multithreading=true`

as a keyword argument to `knn_search`

.