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From "Steven Tamm (JIRA)" <>
Subject [jira] Created: (LUCENE-505) MultiReader.norm() takes up too much memory: norms byte[] should be made into an Object
Date Wed, 01 Mar 2006 21:31:25 GMT
MultiReader.norm() takes up too much memory: norms byte[] should be made into an Object

         Key: LUCENE-505
     Project: Lucene - Java
        Type: Improvement
  Components: Index  
    Versions: 1.9    
 Environment: Patch is against Lucene 1.9 trunk (as of Mar 1 06)
    Reporter: Steven Tamm
 Attachments: NormFactors.patch

MultiReader.norms() is very inefficient: it has to construct a byte array that's as long as
all the documents in every segment.  This doubles the memory requirement for scoring MultiReaders
vs. Segment Readers.  Although this is cached, it's still a baseline of memory that is unnecessary.

The problem is that the Normalization Factors are passed around as a byte[].  If it were instead
replaced with an Object, you could perform a whole host of optimizations
a.  When reading, you wouldn't have to construct a "fakeNorms" array of all 1.0fs.  You could
instead return a singleton object that would just return 1.0f.
b.  MultiReader could use an object that could delegate to NormFactors of the subreaders
c.  You could write an implementation that could use mmap to access the norm factors.  Or
if the index isn't long lived, you could use an implementation that reads directly from the

The patch provided here replaces the use of byte[] with a new abstract class called NormFactors.
NormFactors has two methods on it
    public abstract byte getByte(int doc) throws IOException;  // Returns the byte[doc]
    public float getFactor(int doc) throws IOException;            // Calls Similarity.decodeNorm(getByte(doc))

There are four implementations of this abstract class
1.  NormFactors.EmptyNormFactors - This replaces the fakeNorms with a singleton that only
returns 1.0
2.  NormFactors.ByteNormFactors - Converts a byte[] to a NormFactors for backwards compatibility
in constructors.
3.  MultiNormFactors - Multiplexes the NormFactors in MultiReader to prevent the need to construct
the gigantic norms array.
4.  SegmentReader.Norm - Same class, but now extends NormFactors to provide the same access.

In addition, Many of the Query and Scorer classes were changes to pass around NormFactors
instead of byte[], and to call getFactor() instead of using the byte[].  I have kept around
IndexReader.norms(String) for backwards compatibiltiy, but marked it as deprecated.  I believe
that the use of ByteNormFactors in IndexReader.getNormFactors() will keep backward compatibility
with other IndexReader implementations, but I don't know how to test that.

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