Mean Local Group Average Precision (mLGAP): A New Performance Metric for Hashing-based Retrieval

Pak Lun Kevin Ding, Yikang Li, Baoxin Li

The research on hashing techniques for visual data is gaining increased attention in recent years due to the need for compact representations supporting efficient search/retrieval in large-scale databases such as online images. Among many possibilities, Mean Average Precision(mAP) has emerged as the dominant performance metric for hashing-based retrieval. One glaring shortcoming of mAP is its inability in balancing retrieval accuracy and utilization of hash codes: pushing a system to attain higher mAP will inevitably lead to poorer utilization of the hash codes. Poor utilization of the hash codes hinders good retrieval because of increased collision of samples in the hash space. This means that a model giving a higher mAP values does not necessarily do a better job in retrieval. In this paper, we introduce a new metric named Mean Local Group Average Precision (mLGAP) for better evaluation of the performance of hashing-based retrieval. The new metric provides a retrieval performance measure that also reconciles the utilization of hash codes, leading to a more practically meaningful performance metric than conventional ones like mAP. To this end, we start by mathematical analysis of the deficiencies of mAP for hashing-based retrieval. We then propose mLGAP and show why it is more appropriate for hashing-based retrieval. Experiments on image retrieval are used to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed metric.

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