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Bitmap Index Design and Evaluation

Bitmap indexing has been touted as a promising approach for processing complex adhoc queries in read-mostly environments, like those of decision support systems. Nevertheless, only few possible bitmap schemes have been proposed in the past and very little is known about the space-time tradeoff that they offer. In this paper, we present a general framework to study the design space of bitmap indexes for selection queries and examine the disk-space and time characteristics that the various alternative index choices offer. In particular, we draw a parallel between bitmap indexing and number representation in different number systems, and define a space of two orthogonal dimensions that captures a wide array of bitmap indexes, both old and new. Within that space, we identify (analytically or experimentally) the following interesting points: (1) the time-optimal bitmap index; (2) the space-optimal bitmap index; (3) the bitmap index with the optimal space-time tradeoff (knee); and (4) the time-optimal bitmap index under a given disk-space constraint. Finally, we examine the impact of bitmap compression and bitmap buffering on the space-time tradeoffs among those indexes. As part of this work, we also describe a bitmap-index-based evaluation algorithm for selection queries that represents an improvement over earlier proposals. We believe that this study offers a useful first set of guidelines for physical database design using bitmap indexes.

Chee Yong Chan, Yannis Ioannidis, "Bitmap Index Design and Evaluation ", Int’l ACM SIGMOD Conference, Seattle, WA, June 1998, pp. 355-366, 1998
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Int’l ACM SIGMOD Conference, Seattle, WA, June 1998, pp. 355-366
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