Cheung, King Lum, and Ada Wai-Chee Fu. "Enhanced nearest neighbour search on the R-tree." ACM SIGMOD Record 27.3 (1998): 16-21.
This paper gives an improves set of heuristics for the R* Tree, that makes indexing and retrieving neighbours of any spatial object, much more efficient.
We perform relative indexing primarily by extracting the nearest neighbours of a drawn feature, and checking how much the relative position of the two features match. However, this approach fails drastically when we have insufficient features indexed. In such a case, we have to resort to conventional algorithms that are translation independant.