G. Cormode. Encyclopedia entry on 'Count-Min Sketch'. In L. Liu and M. T. Ozsu, editors, Encyclopedia of Database Systems, pages 511-516. Springer, 2009.

The Count-Min (CM) Sketch is a compact summary data structure capable of representing a high-dimensional vector and answering queries on this vector, in particular point queries and dot product queries, with strong accuracy guarantees. Such queries are at the core of many computations, so the structure can be used in order to answer a variety of other queries, such as frequent items (heavy hitters), quantile finding, join size estimation, and more. Since the data structure can easily process updates in the form of additions or subtractions to dimensions of the vector (which may correspond to insertions or deletions, or other transactions), it is capable of working over streams of updates, at high rates. The data structure maintains the linear projection of the vector with a number of other random vectors. These vectors are defined implicitly by simple hash functions. Increasing the range of the hash functions increases the accuracy of the summary, and increasing the number of hash functions decreases the probability of a bad estimate. These tradeoffs are quantified precisely below. Because of this linearity, CM sketches can be scaled, added and subtracted, to produce summaries of the corresponding scaled and combined vectors.

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