Box Covers and Domain Orderings for Beyond Worst-Case Join Processing

Authors Kaleb Alway, Eric Blais, Semih Salihoglu

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Kaleb Alway
  • University of Waterloo, Canada
Eric Blais
  • University of Waterloo, Canada
Semih Salihoglu
  • University of Waterloo, Canada

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Kaleb Alway, Eric Blais, and Semih Salihoglu. Box Covers and Domain Orderings for Beyond Worst-Case Join Processing. In 24th International Conference on Database Theory (ICDT 2021). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 186, pp. 3:1-3:23, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)


Recent beyond worst-case optimal join algorithms Minesweeper and its generalization Tetris have brought the theory of indexing and join processing together by developing a geometric framework for joins. These algorithms take as input an index ℬ, referred to as a box cover, that stores output gaps that can be inferred from traditional indexes, such as B+ trees or tries, on the input relations. The performances of these algorithms highly depend on the certificate of ℬ, which is the smallest subset of gaps in ℬ whose union covers all of the gaps in the output space of a query Q. Different box covers can have different size certificates and the sizes of both the box covers and certificates highly depend on the ordering of the domain values of the attributes in Q. We study how to generate box covers that contain small size certificates to guarantee efficient runtimes for these algorithms. First, given a query Q over a set of relations of size N and a fixed set of domain orderings for the attributes, we give a Õ(N)-time algorithm called GAMB which generates a box cover for Q that is guaranteed to contain the smallest size certificate across any box cover for Q. Second, we show that finding a domain ordering to minimize the box cover size and certificate is NP-hard through a reduction from the 2 consecutive block minimization problem on boolean matrices. Our third contribution is a Õ(N)-time approximation algorithm called ADORA to compute domain orderings, under which one can compute a box cover of size Õ(K^r), where K is the minimum box cover for Q under any domain ordering and r is the maximum arity of any relation. This guarantees certificates of size Õ(K^r). We combine ADORA and GAMB with Tetris to form a new algorithm we call TetrisReordered, which provides several new beyond worst-case bounds. On infinite families of queries, TetrisReordered’s runtimes are unboundedly better than the bounds stated in prior work.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Information systems → Database query processing
  • Theory of computation → Database query processing and optimization (theory)
  • Beyond worst-case join algorithms
  • Tetris
  • Box covers
  • Domain orderings


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