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Daniel Lemire on What Makes Database Indexes Work

November 7th, 2008 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

Daniel Lemire has a great post today entitled “Understanding what makes database indexes work“. There’s nothing that should be surprising for folks who live and breathe this stuff, but it’s a great introduction for those who don’t. Here are his bullet points:

  1. You expect specific queries: restructure your data!
  2. You expect specific queries: materialize them!
  3. You expect specific queries: redundancy is (sometimes) your friend
  4. Use multiresolution!
  5. Your data is not random: compress it!
  6. In any case: optimize your codeĀ 
Read his post to get the details.

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Daniel Lemire // Nov 7, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    Thanks for the ad!

    However, while this is (obviously) not meant to take people by surprise, there is very little in terms of meta-studies of indexes. People all tend to go and design very specific indexes… and they keep reinventing the same things, over and over again.

    Go to any database conference and listen to the talks. You will see that most indexing papers combine 2 or 3 of these techniques, but nothing else.

  • 2 Daniel Tunkelang // Nov 7, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    Fair enough. In any case, everyone could benefit from a review, and I shouldn’t overestimate the expertise of self-appointed experts.

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