The similarity search is popular in various areas of computing, including multimedia databases, data mining, bioinformatics, etc. For a long time, the database approaches to similarity search assumed the similarity as a metric distance. Due to its properties, metric similarity allows to index a database such that it can be queried efficiently (quickly). However, together with the increasing complexity of data across various domains, there appeared many similarities in recent years that were not metrics (i.e., nonmetrics). The database research, however, is still not aware of the huge potential market for nonmetric similarity search, recognizing just the metric space model.
This project aims to propose formal models followed by a design of access methods for efficient nonmetric similarity search, that is, search in databases where the similarity is not restricted by the metric postulates. Such a goal would bring an efficient database solution to the domain experts that need to pursue large-scale content-based retrieval tasks in complex databases, like multimedia retrieval, similarity-based data mining, complex pattern matching, classification and prediction in bioinformatics, etc.