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From Adam Fuchs <>
Subject Re: using stateful iterators to do filtering during major compaction?
Date Mon, 10 Apr 2017 20:20:22 GMT
Hi Jonathan,

Did you consider simply not using the whole row iterator in the compaction
scope? Iterators don't get torn down and rebuilt in the compaction scope,
so partial row reads as you describe in the scan scope don't really exist
in compaction scopes unless another iterator above your filter is seeking.
(as an aside, the iterator environment will tell you if you're in a full or
partial compaction with respect to completeness of data, so plan

Other potential places to cache state:
1. The last key returned will be the first key seeked (non-inclusive) after
an iterator is torn down and reconstructed. You might be able to cache a
little bit of info at the end of the column qualifier.
2. Static soft value hash maps might help, using a combination of an
iterator option and the seeked range as the key.


On Mon, Apr 10, 2017 at 12:14 PM, Jonathan LASKO <> wrote:

> Hi Accumulo wizards,
> TL;DR - this is a question about custom iterators and saving state (or
> seeking backwards) in order to filter / mask data during major compaction.
> For a project I'm working on, we would like to be able to use one entry to
> filter other entries in the same row. (I will call the first entry the
> 'filtering key.') To do this, we would ensure that this 'filtering key'
> lexicographically precedes the other entries it would be used on.
> There is, of course, a "snag" with this idea: the iterator could simply
> read and save in memory the entry and then use it for subsequent filtering,
> were it not for the fact that the iterator stack can be dropped and
> re-initialized at any point in the row, including cf's/cq's that are
> already past the 'filtering key.' Our understanding is that the tserver
> processes can (and do!) restart and re-initialize the iterator stack at any
> point. When this happens, the tserver will "seek(...)" the newly
> re-initialized iterator stack back to the same row/cf/cq that the previous
> incarnation of the stack was on when it got re-initialized.
> When this teardown/re-init happens, the tserver doesn't call deepCopy(...)
> on the iterator stack; it just calls init(...). (At least, this is our
> experience in Accumulo 1.6.2.) For this reason, it is seen as a risky
> proposition to try to keep state in the iterators. (Josh Elser acknowledges
> this in his presentation on designing and testing custom iterators for
> Accumulo,
> accumulo-iterators).
> Nevertheless, for the scantime scope, I believe we can use
> WholeRowIterator to ensure that we don't ever return data for a row until
> we've read the entire row, thus avoiding the need to keep state in the
> iterators. (If the iterator stack gets re-initialized, we should start over
> from the beginning of the row.)
> Our problem comes when we want to use this filter in majc.compaction scope
> to actually filter the masked data out of the system entirely. In this
> case, the WholeRowIterator approach wouldn't seem to be usable (because
> Accumulo only allows us to set filters for compaction time but not
> iterators).
> Here are our questions:
> (1) Has Accumulo's behavior when tearing down and re-initializing an
> iterator stack changed between 1.6.2 and the latest version? (I.e. is
> deepCopy now called?)
> (2) Are there any other ways in which storing state across iterator stack
> teardowns has been made any easier?
> (3) If not, are there any other tricks/hacks which we might consider using
> (albeit with caution) to store state or otherwise accomplish this? (Options
> we've mused about include figuring out another way for the iterators to
> store state beyond themselves -- can iterators write to the
> IteratorEnvironment to influence future iterator instantiations? -- and/or
> allowing the iterators to seek backwards to get the 'filtering key' they
> need.)
> (4) Also: any downsides to using the WholeRowIterator we should keep in
> mind?
> Thanks in advance,
> Jonathan

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