FastBit: An Efficient Indexing Technology For Accelerating Data-Intensive Science

Kesheng Wu


FastBit is a software tool for searching large read-only datasets. It organizes user data in a column-oriented structure which is efficient for on-line analytical processing (OLAP), and utilizes compressed bitmap indices to further speed up query processing. Analyses have proven the compressed bitmap index used in FastBit to be theoretically optimal for onedimensional queries. Compared with other optimal indexing methods, bitmap indices are superior because they can be efficiently combined to answer multi-dimensional queries whereas other optimal methods can not. In this paper, we first describe the searching capability of FastBit, then briefly highlight two applications that make extensive use of FastBit, namely Grid Collector and DEX.

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