Google Research

Processing a Trillion Cells per Mouse Click

  • Alex Hall
  • Olaf Bachmann
  • Robert Buessow
  • Silviu-Ionut Ganceanu
  • Marc Nunkesser
PVLDB, vol. 5 (2012), pp. 1436-1446

Abstract

Column-oriented database systems have been a real game changer for the industry in recent years. Highly tuned and performant systems have evolved that provide users with the possibility of answering ad hoc queries over large datasets in an interactive manner. In this paper we present the column-oriented datastore developed as one of the central components of PowerDrill. It combines the advantages of columnar data layout with other known techniques (such as using composite range partitions) and extensive algorithmic engineering on key data structures. The main goal of the latter being to reduce the main memory footprint and to increase the efficiency in processing typical user queries. In this combination we achieve large speed-ups. These enable a highly interactive Web UI where it is common that a single mouse click leads to processing a trillion values in the underlying dataset.

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