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From Relation Algebra to Semi-join Algebra: An Approach to Graph Query Optimization

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

Many graph query languages rely on composition to navigate graphs and select nodes of interest, even though evaluating compositions of relations can be costly. Often, this need for composition can be reduced by rewriting toward queries using semi-joins instead, resulting in a significant reduction of the query evaluation cost. We study techniques to recognize and apply such rewritings. Concretely, we study the relationship between the expressive power of the relation algebras, which heavily rely on composition, and the semi-join algebras, which replace composition in favor of semi-joins. Our main result is that each fragment of the relation algebras where intersection and/or difference is only used on edges (and not on complex compositions) is expressively equivalent to a fragment of the semi-join algebras. This expressive equivalence holds for node queries evaluating to sets of nodes. For practical relevance, we exhibit constructive rules for rewriting relation algebra queries to semijoin algebra queries and prove that they lead to only a well-bounded increase in the number of steps needed to evaluate the rewritten queries. In addition, on sibling-ordered trees, we establish new relationships among the expressive power of Regular XPath, Conditional XPath, FO-logic and the semi-join algebra augmented with restricted fixpoint operators.
Tijdschrift: Computer journal (Print)
ISSN: 0010-4620
Issue: 5
Volume: 64
Pagina's: 789 - 811
Trefwoorden:graph query optimization, relation algebra, semi join algebra, rewriting, transitive closure, restricted transitive closure, expressiveness