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From "Keith Turner (JIRA)" <>
Subject [jira] [Commented] (ACCUMULO-473) Support binary search within RFile blocks
Date Sat, 30 Jun 2012 02:23:42 GMT


Keith Turner commented on ACCUMULO-473:

An index within an RFile block is needed.  However this index does not need to be built when
the block is written.  Instead the index could be built when the block is read/seeked.  But
only build the index when a block is seeked multiple times.  So the per block index is transient,
its never written to disk and is constructed as needed.  Also the index could start off small
and the more the block is seeked, the larger the index grows.  The benefit of this is that
memory is spent on indexing a rfile blocks is proportional to them amount of times that block
is seeked.  A block that is seeked only once does not benefit much from an index because the
cost of reading and decompressing the block outweigh the benefit an index may provide.  As
I mentioned earlier the cost of this single seek would be O(N + log N) if you had a precomputed
index.   Below is an example if what I am thinking showing seeks over time.

 * Block X is read in and has no index
 * Block X is seeked 2 times each requiring a linear scan of the block each time
 * An index containing the middle key of block X is built.  Uses a little memory.  Future
seeks will be twice as fast.
 * Block X is seeked 4 times each requiring a linear scan of up to 1/2 the block each time
 * Because the block continues to be seekend, an index containing the quarter key, middle
key, and 3 quarters key is built.  Future seeks will will be twice as fast as the previous
index.  A little more memory is used.
 * Block X is seeked once requiring a linear scan of up to 1/4th the block

Any thoughts on this approach?  I really like the idea of per block index memory use being
driven by seek behavior.  I also like that this has zero impact on write speed and storage

I am thinking that every time the seek count on a block doubles that the number of keys indexed
should double up to some point.  The point at which you stop increasing the index size could
be determined by overall per block memory index usage.  Could also stop when 1/16th or 1/32th
of the keys in a block are indexed.  There is no need to have every key indexed, getting close
and scanning a few keys will be very fast.  
> Support binary search within RFile blocks
> -----------------------------------------
>                 Key: ACCUMULO-473
>                 URL:
>             Project: Accumulo
>          Issue Type: Improvement
>          Components: tserver
>            Reporter: Keith Turner
>            Assignee: Keith Turner
>             Fix For: 1.5.0
> RFiles store blocks of key values using relative encoding.  By default these blocks are
small (100k).  To find a key in an RFile the index is used to find the block, then the block
is scanned for the key.  It would be nice for iterators that do alot of seeking if a binary
search were done instead of a scan.  
> Relative encoding is a form of compression that serializes a key relative to the last
key.  For example if the row in a key is the same as the previous key, then the row is not
stored again.  This works well with sorted data.   The current on disk format does not support
random access within a block, because to read entry N all previous entries must be read. 
 One option would be to deserialize the block into a form that supports random access and
then do binary search.  However this will consume memory and CPU.  If the relative encoding
format could be modified to support random access, then binary search could be supported in
a memory and CPU efficient way.

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