Sebastian Bruch. “Foundations of Vector Retrieval”. Unpublished manuscript.
Vectors are universal mathematical objects that can represent text, images, speech, or a mix of these data modalities. That happens regardless of whether data is represented by hand-crafted features or learnt embeddings. Collect a large enough quantity of such vectors and the question of retrieval becomes urgently relevant: Finding vectors that are more similar to a query vector. This monograph is concerned with the question above and covers fundamental concepts along with advanced data structures and algorithms for vector retrieval. In doing so, it recaps this fascinating topic and lowers barriers of entry into this rich area of research.