In the world of vector search, there are many indexing methods and vector processing techniques that allow us to prioritize between recall, latency, and memory usage.
Using specific methods such as IVF, PQ, or HNSW, we can often return good results. But for best performance we will usually want to use composite indexes.
Note: Pinecone lets you build scalable, high-performance vector search into your applications without knowing anything about composite indexes. However, we know you like seeing how things work, so enjoy learning about composite indexes and the Faiss Index Factory!
We can view a composite index as a step-by-step process of vector transformations and one or more indexing methods. Allowing us to place multiple indexes and/or processing steps together to create our ‘ideal’ index.
For example, we can use an inverted file (IVF) index to reduce the scope of our search (increasing search speed), and then add a compression technique such as product quantization (PQ) to keep larger indexes within a reasonable size limit.