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From J Chris Anderson <>
Subject Re: Newbie: Locality of Reference in Couch
Date Fri, 28 May 2010 22:10:11 GMT

On May 27, 2010, at 3:16 AM, Robert Buck wrote:

> On Wed, May 26, 2010 at 9:01 PM, Randall Leeds <> wrote:
>> On Wed, May 26, 2010 at 15:39, J Chris Anderson <> wrote:
>>> On May 26, 2010, at 1:53 PM, Robert Buck wrote:
>>>> Hi Folks,
>>>> Thank you for kindly answering my last round of questions. Here is
>>>> another question related to Couch:
>>>> What sort of locality of reference exists in Couch with respect to
>>>> retrieval of state ? Is locality of reference solely at the document
>>>> level, or is locality of reference also exhibited elsewhere that
>>>> developers can take advantage of ?
>>> Hmm, I'm not sure what you mean by locality of reference (I know it in the context
of performance optimizations)
>> Same.
>> If you're using it this way, I guess the best answer is that documents
>> might be very sparsely spread out across the disk in a large database
>> that has not been compacted for a long time. Documents updated around
>> the same time might be closer to the tail of the file. We really rely
>> on the filesystem cache to make this something we can forget about.
>> Does that answer anything at all?
> That's good, that confirms what I have read, just wanted to verify.
> Some database technologies allow you to "group" data more closely
> together, some call this a container, others call it a segment. From
> what I read Couch apparently has no such feature.
> Thanks so much for your help.

Another performance thing you can do it, is use document ids that are near each other in the
keyspace. This will give better cache-locality in the filesystem cache. Luckily, CouchDB does
a good job of this by default, if you use the built-in uuid generator.

There were some analysis / benchmarks on this list a few months ago about the difference between
sorted, sorry I don't have the links handy. Upshot, small, sequential-ish ids are the fastest.


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