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High-performance MinHash implementation in Rust with Python bindings for efficient similarity estimation and deduplication of large datasets



Rensa: A novel high-performance MinHash Implementation in Rust


Rensa (Swedish for "clean") is a high-performance MinHash implementation written in Rust with Python bindings. It's designed for efficient similarity estimation and deduplication of large datasets.

Rensa implements a variant of the MinHash algorithm that combines ideas from traditional MinHash and the C-MinHash algorithm proposed in the paper C-MinHash: Rigorously Reducing K Permutations to Two to create a novel MinHash implementation that I call R-MinHash.

Rensa is particularly useful in scenarios where you need to:

  • Quickly estimate the similarity between large sets of data
  • Deduplicate large datasets
  • Perform locality-sensitive hashing (LSH) for approximate nearest neighbor search

Use cases include:

  • Content deduplication in large document collections
  • Identifying similar items in recommendation systems
  • Clustering of high-dimensional data
  • Near-duplicate detection in web crawling

Technical Implementation

Key aspects of Rensa's implementation include:

  1. Efficient permutation generation: Instead of storing full permutations or using k independent hash functions, Rensa uses a pair of random numbers (a, b) to generate permutations on-the-fly. This approach significantly reduces memory usage while maintaining the algorithm's effectiveness.

  2. Simplified C-MinHash: While inspired by C-MinHash, Rensa's implementation differs in a few key ways:

    • It does not apply an initial independent permutation (σ) to the input data.
    • Instead of using circulant permutations (π_k) for each hash value, Rensa uses the same pair of random numbers (a, b) for all permutations.
  3. Trade-off between memory and variance reduction: Rensa's approach trades some of the variance reduction benefits of full C-MinHash for improved memory efficiency and simplicity. While it may not achieve the same level of variance reduction as C-MinHash, it still offers better performance than traditional MinHash in many scenarios.

  4. Fast hash function: Rensa uses the rustc-hash crate which implements the FxHash algorithm, a fast, non-cryptographic hash function, to further optimize performance.

  5. Vectorized operations: The R-MinHash computation is optimized using vector operations, allowing for efficient parallel processing of multiple hash values.

  6. Memory-efficient data structures: The implementation uses compact data structures to minimize memory usage while maintaining fast access times.

  7. Efficient LSH implementation: The LSH index uses a band-based approach with optimized data structures for fast insertion and query operations.

These design choices result in a MinHash implementation that is fast, memory-efficient, and suitable for large-scale similarity estimation and deduplication tasks. While Rensa may not provide the same theoretical guarantees as full C-MinHash, our benchmarks show that it offers significant performance improvements over traditional MinHash implementations like datasketch.


You can install Rensa using pip. It's available in all platforms:

pip install rensa

Usage Example

Here's an example of how to use Rensa to deduplicate a dataset:

from datasets import load_dataset
from rensa import RMinHash
from tqdm import tqdm

def rensa_minhash(text, num_perm=128):
    m = RMinHash(num_perm=num_perm, seed=42)
    return m

def deduplicate_dataset(dataset, num_perm=128):
    unique_hashes = set()
    deduplicated_indices = []
    for idx, example in tqdm(enumerate(dataset), total=len(dataset), desc="Deduplicating"):
        minhash = rensa_minhash(example["sql"], num_perm)
        hash_tuple = tuple(minhash.digest())
        if hash_tuple not in unique_hashes:
    return deduplicated_indices

def main():
    print("Loading dataset...")
    sql_dataset = load_dataset("gretelai/synthetic_text_to_sql", split="train")
    print("Deduplicating dataset...")
    deduplicated_indices = deduplicate_dataset(sql_dataset)
    deduplicated_dataset =
    print("\nDeduplication Results:")
    print(f"Original dataset size: {len(sql_dataset)}")
    print(f"Deduplicated dataset size: {len(deduplicated_dataset)}")
    print(f"Rows removed: {len(sql_dataset) - len(deduplicated_dataset)}")
if __name__ == "__main__":

Benchmark Results

Graph with benchmark results that demonstrate that Rensa is 12x faster


Rensa significantly outperforms datasketch in terms of speed. The table below provides a detailed comparison of execution times for different numbers of permutations:

PermutationsDatasketch Time (s)Rensa Time (s)Speedup
6434.484.897.05x faster
12849.625.219.52x faster
25684.766.3913.26x faster

Memory Usage

Memory usage is comparable between Rensa and datasketch, with Rensa showing slightly better performance for smaller numbers of permutations. The table below provides the details:

PermutationsDatasketch Memory (MB)Rensa Memory (MB)Difference (MB)
64265.75242.3623.39 less
128487.02472.9714.05 less
256811.64774.4937.15 less


Despite the simplified implementation, Rensa achieves the same deduplication results as datasketch. The Jaccard similarity between the deduplicated sets produced by both libraries is 1.0000, indicating identical results.

Running the Benchmarks

To run the benchmarks yourself, follow these steps:

  1. Clone the repository:

    git clone
    cd rensa
  2. Create a virtual environment:

    python3 -m venv venv
    source venv/bin/activate
  3. Install the required dependencies:

    pip install -r requirements.txt
  4. Run the simple benchmark:

    python benchmarks/
  5. Run the advanced benchmark:

    python benchmarks/

The script provides a basic comparison of deduplication performance between Rensa and datasketch. The script offers a more comprehensive analysis, including multiple runs with different numbers of permutations, memory usage tracking, and detailed profiling information.

Limitations and Future Work

While Rensa offers significant performance improvements, it has some limitations compared to datasketch:

  1. Feature set: Rensa currently implements only the core MinHash and LSH functionality. It doesn't include some of the advanced features found in datasketch.

  2. Customization: datasketch offers more options for customizing the hash functions and other parameters, while Rensa currently has a more fixed implementation.

  3. Theoretical guarantees: Due to the simplified C-MinHash implementation, Rensa may not provide the same level of variance reduction as the full C-MinHash algorithm in all scenarios.

Future work on Rensa may include:

  • Adding more advanced features and customization options
  • Further optimizing performance for specific use cases and data types

Despite these limitations, Rensa's performance benefits make it an excellent choice for applications where speed and efficiency are critical, especially when working with large datasets.


Contributions to Rensa are welcome! Please feel free to submit pull requests, report bugs, or suggest features through the GitHub issue tracker.


Rensa is released under the MIT License. See the LICENSE file for details.



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