Comparative Study of Distance Functions for Nearest Neighbors

  • Janett Walters-WilliamsEmail author
  • Yan Li
Conference paper


Many learning algorithms rely on distance metrics to receive their input data. Research has shown that these metrics can improve the performance of these algorithms. Over the years an often popular function is the Euclidean function. In this paper, we investigate a number of different metrics proposed by different communities, including Mahalanobis, Euclidean, Kullback-Leibler and Hamming distance. Overall, the best-performing method is the Mahalanobis distance metric.


Kullback-Leibler distance Euclidean distance Mahalanobis distance Manhattan distance Hamming distance Minkowski distance Nearest Neighbor 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Computing and Information TechnologyUniversity of TechnologyKingston 6Jamaica W.I
  2. 2.Department of Mathematics and Computing Centre for Systems BiologyUniversity of Southern QueenslandToowoombaAustralia

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