Vector database is a type of database that stores data as high-dimensional vectors, which are mathematical representations of features or attributes. Each vector has a certain number of dimensions, which can range from tens to thousands, depending on the complexity and granularity of the data.
Elasticsearch (63.3k ⭐) → A distributed search and analytics engine that supports various types of data. One of the data types that Elasticsearch supports is vector fields, which store dense vectors of numeric values. In version 7.10, Elasticsearch added support for indexing vectors into a specialized data structure to support fast kNN retrieval through the kNN search API. In version 8.0, Elasticsearch added support for native natural language processing (NLP) with vector fields.
Faiss (20.7k ⭐, Meta) → A library for efficient similarity search and clustering of dense vectors. It contains algorithms that search in sets of vectors of any size, up to ones that possibly do not fit in RAM. It also contains supporting code for evaluation and parameter tuning.
Milvus (16.6k ⭐) → An open-source vector database that can manage trillions of vector datasets and supports multiple vector search indexes and built-in filtering.
Weaviate (4.8k ⭐) → An open-source vector database that allows you to store data objects and vector embeddings from your favorite ML-models, and scale seamlessly into billions of data objects.
Pinecone: A vector database that is designed for machine learning applications. It is fast, scalable, and supports a variety of machine learning algorithms. Pinecone is built on top of Faiss, a library for efficient similarity search of dense vectors.
Qdrant (5.8k ⭐) → A vector similarity search engine and vector database. It provides a production-ready service with a convenient API to store, search, and manage points - vectors with an additional payload. Qdrant is tailored to extended filtering support. It makes it useful for all sorts of neural-network or semantic-based matching, faceted search, and other applications.
Vespa(4.3k ⭐) → A fully featured search engine and vector database. It supports vector search (ANN), lexical search, and search in structured data, all in the same query. Integrated machine-learned model inference allows you to apply AI to make sense of your data in real time.
Vald (1.2k ⭐) → A highly scalable distributed fast approximate nearest neighbor dense vector search engine. Vald is designed and implemented based on the Cloud-Native architecture. It uses the fastest ANN Algorithm NGT to search neighbors. Vald has automatic vector indexing and index backup, and horizontal scaling which made for searching from billions of feature vector data.
ScaNN (Scalable Nearest Neighbors, Google Research) → A library for efficient vector similarity search, which finds the k nearest vectors to a query vector, as measured by a similarity metric. Vector similarity search is useful for applications such as image search, natural language processing, recommender systems, and anomaly detection.
pgvector (2.3k ⭐) → An open-source extension for PostgreSQL that allows you to store and query vector embeddings within your database. It is built on top of the Faiss library, which is a popular library for efficient similarity search of dense vectors. pgvector is easy to use and can be installed with a single command.
Vector databases and vector libraries are both technologies that enable vector similarity search, but they differ in functionality and usability. Vector databases can store and update data, handle various types of data sources, perform queries during data import, and provide user-friendly and enterprise-ready features. Vector libraries can only store data, handle vectors only, require importing all the data before building the index, and require more technical expertise and manual configuration.
Some vector databases are built on top of existing libraries, such as Faiss. This allows them to take advantage of the existing code and features of the library, which can save time and effort in development.
These vector databases & libraries are used in artificial intelligence (AI) applications such as machine learning, natural language processing and image recognition. They share some common features:
When choosing a vector database, it is important to consider your specific needs and requirements.