k-nearest neighbors on road networks: a journey in experimentation and in-memory implementation

Tenindra Abeywickrama, Muhammad Aamir Cheema, David Taniar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


A k nearest neighbor (kNN) query on road networks retrieves the k closest points of interest (POIs) by their network distances from a given location. Today, in the era of ubiquitous mobile computing, this is a highly pertinent query. While Euclidean distance has been used as a heuristic to search for the closest POIs by their road network distance, its efficacy has not been thoroughly investigated. The most recent methods have shown significant improvement in query performance. Earlier studies, which proposed disk-based indexes, were compared to the current state-of-the-art in main memory. However, recent studies have shown that main memory comparisons can be challenging and require careful adaptation. This paper presents an extensive experimental investigation in main memory to settle these and several other issues. We use efficient and fair memory-resident implementations of each method to reproduce past experiments and conduct additional comparisons for several overlooked evaluations. Notably we revisit a previously discarded technique (IER) showing that, through a simple improvement, it is often the best performing technique.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the VLDB Endowment
EditorsSurajit Chaudhuri, Jayant Haritsa
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of the VLDB Endowment
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
ISSN (Electronic)2150-8097

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