Influence sets based on reverse nearest neighbor queries

Flip Korn, S. Muthukrishnan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Inherent in the operation of many decision support and continuous referral systems is the notion of the “influence" of a data point on the database. This notion arises in examples such as finding the set of customers affected by the opening of a new store outlet location, notifying the subset of subscribers to a digital library who will find a newly added document most relevant, etc. Standard approaches to determining the influence set of a data point involve range searching and nearest neighbor queries. In this paper, we formalize a novel notion of influence based on reverse neighbor queries and its variants. Since the nearest neighbor relation is not symmetric, the set of points that are closest to a query point (i.e., the nearest neighbors) differs from the set of points that have the query point as their nearest neighbor (called the reverse nearest neighbors). Influence sets based on reverse nearest neighbor (RNN) queries seem to capture the intuitive notion of influence from our motivating examples. We present a general approach for solving RNN queries and an efficient R-tree based method for large data sets, based on this approach. Although the RNN query appears to be natural, it has not been studied previously. RNN queries are of independent interest, and as such should be part of the suite of available queries for processing spatial and multimedia data. In our experiments with real geographical data, the proposed method appears to scale logarithmically, whereas straightforward sequential scan scales linearly. Our experimental study also shows that approaches based on range searching or nearest neighbors are ineffective at finding influence sets of our interest.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)201-212
    Number of pages12
    JournalSIGMOD Record (ACM Special Interest Group on Management of Data)
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Jun 2000

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Software
    • Information Systems


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