SPIDER: Improved Succinct Rank and Select Performance

Authors Matthew D. Laws , Jocelyn Bliven , Kit Conklin , Elyes Laalai , Samuel McCauley , Zach S. Sturdevant

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Author Details

Matthew D. Laws
  • Williams College Computer Science, Williamstown, MA, USA
Jocelyn Bliven
  • Williams College Computer Science, Williamstown, MA, USA
Kit Conklin
  • Williams College Computer Science, Williamstown, MA, USA
Elyes Laalai
  • Williams College Computer Science, Williamstown, MA, USA
Samuel McCauley
  • Williams College Computer Science, Williamstown, MA, USA
Zach S. Sturdevant
  • Williams College Computer Science, Williamstown, MA, USA

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Matthew D. Laws, Jocelyn Bliven, Kit Conklin, Elyes Laalai, Samuel McCauley, and Zach S. Sturdevant. SPIDER: Improved Succinct Rank and Select Performance. In 22nd International Symposium on Experimental Algorithms (SEA 2024). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 301, pp. 21:1-21:18, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2024)


Rank and select data structures seek to preprocess a bit vector to quickly answer two kinds of queries: Rank(i) gives the number of 1 bits in slots 0 through i, and Select(j) gives the first slot s with Rank(s) = j. A succinct data structure can answer these queries while using space much smaller than the size of the original bit vector. State of the art succinct rank and select data structures use as little as 4% extra space (over the underlying bit vector) while answering rank and select queries very quickly. Rank queries can be answered using only a handful of array accesses. Select queries can be answered by starting with similar array accesses, followed by a linear scan through the bit vector. Nonetheless, a tradeoff remains: data structures that use under 4% space are significantly slower at answering rank and select queries than less-space-efficient data structures (using, say, over 20% extra space). In this paper we make significantly progress towards closing this gap. We give a new data structure, SPIDER, which uses 3.82% extra space. SPIDER gives the best known rank query time for data sets of 8 billion or more bits, even compared to much less space-efficient data structures. For select queries, SPIDER outperforms all data structures that use less than 4% space, and significantly closes the gap in select performance between data structures with less than 4% space, and those that use more (over 20% for both rank and select) space. SPIDER makes two main technical contributions. For rank queries, it improves performance by interleaving the metadata with the bit vector to improve cache efficiency. For select queries, it uses predictions to almost eliminate the cost of the linear scan. These predictions are inspired by recent results on data structures with machine-learned predictions, adapted to the succinct data structure setting. Our results hold on both real and synthetic data, showing that these predictions are effective in practice.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Theory of computation → Sorting and searching
  • Rank and Select
  • Succinct Data Structures
  • Data Structres
  • Cache Performance
  • Predictions


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