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From Andrés de la Peña (JIRA) <>
Subject [jira] [Created] (CASSANDRA-8717) Top-k queries with custom secondary indexes
Date Mon, 02 Feb 2015 14:25:36 GMT
Andrés de la Peña created CASSANDRA-8717:

             Summary: Top-k queries with custom secondary indexes
                 Key: CASSANDRA-8717
             Project: Cassandra
          Issue Type: Improvement
          Components: Core
            Reporter: Andrés de la Peña
            Priority: Minor
             Fix For: 2.1.3
         Attachments: 0001-Add-support-for-top-k-queries-in-2i.patch

As presented in [Cassandra Summit Europe 2014|],
secondary indexes can be modified to support general top-k queries with minimum changes in
Cassandra codebase. This way, custom 2i implementations could provide relevance search, sorting
by columns, etc.

Top-k queries retrieve the k best results for a certain query. That implies querying the k
best rows in each token range and then sort them in order to obtain the k globally best rows.

For doing that, we propose two additional methods in class SecondaryIndexSearcher:

public boolean requiresFullScan(List<IndexExpression> clause)
    return false;

public List<Row> sort(List<IndexExpression> clause, List<Row> rows)
    return rows;

The first one indicates if a query performed in the index requires querying all the nodes
in the ring. It is necessary in top-k queries because we do not know which node are the best
results. The second method specifies how to sort all the partial node results according to
the query. 

Then we add two similar methods to the class AbstractRangeCommand:

    this.searcher =;

public boolean requiresFullScan() {
    return searcher == null ? false : searcher.requiresFullScan(rowFilter);

public List<Row> combine(List<Row> rows)
    return searcher == null ? trim(rows) : trim(searcher.sort(rowFilter, rows));

Finnally, we modify StorageProxy#getRangeSlice to use the previous method, as shown in the
attached patch.

We think that the proposed approach provides very useful functionality with minimum impact
in current codebase.

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