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On the Cost of Transitive Closures in Relational Databases

Li, Zhe; Ross, Kenneth A.

We consider the question of taking transitive closures on top of pure relational systems (Sybase and Ingres in this case). We developed three kinds of transitive closure programs, one using a stored procedure to simulate a built-in transitive closure operator, one using the C language embedded with SQL statements to simulate the iterated execution of the transitive closure operation, and one using Floyd's matrix algorithm to compute the transitive closure of an input graph. By comparing and analyzing the respective performances of their different versions in terms of elapsed time spent on taking the transitive closure, we identify some of the bottlenecks that arise when defining the transitive closure operator on top of existing relational systems. The main purpose of the work is to estimate the costs of taking transitive closures on top of relational systems, isolate the different cost factors (such as logging, network transmission cost, etc.), and identify some necessary enhancements to existing relational systems in order to support transitive closure operation efficiently. We argue that relational databases should be augmented with efficient transitive closure operators if such queries are made frequently.

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Academic Units
Computer Science
Publisher
Department of Computer Science, Columbia University
Series
Columbia University Computer Science Technical Reports, CUCS-004-93
Published Here
January 20, 2012