Algorithms for continuous queries: A geometric approach

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There has been an unprecedented growth in both the amount of data and the number of users interested in different types of data. Users often want to keep track of the data that match their interests over a period of time. A continuous query, once issued by a user, maintains the matching results for the user as new data (as well as updates to the existing data) continue to arrive in a stream. However, supporting potentially millions of continuous queries is a huge challenge. This dissertation addresses the problem of scalably processing a large number of continuous queries over a wide-area network.

Conceptually, the task of supporting distributed continuous queries can be divided into two components--event processing (computing the set of affected users for each data update) and notification dissemination (notifying the set of affected users). The first part of this dissertation focuses on event processing. Since interacting with large-scale data can easily frustrate and overwhelm the users, top-k queries have attracted considerable interest from the database community as they allow users to focus on the top-ranked results only. However, it is nearly impossible to find a set of common top-ranked data that everyone is interested in, therefore, users are allowed to specify their interest in different forms of preferences, such as personalized ranking function and range selection. This dissertation presents geometric frameworks, data structures, and algorithms for answering several types of preference queries efficiently. Experimental evaluations show that our approaches outperform the previous ones by orders of magnitude.

The second part of the dissertation presents comprehensive solutions to the problem of processing and notifying a large number of continuous range top-k queries across a wide-area network. Simple solutions include using a content-driven network to notify all continuous queries whose ranges contain the update (ignoring top-k), or using a server to compute only the affected continuous queries and notifying them individually. The former solution generates too much network traffic, while the latter overwhelms the server. This dissertation presents a geometric framework which allows the set of affected continuous queries to be described succinctly with messages that can be efficiently disseminated using content-driven networks. Fast algorithms are also developed to reformulate each update into a set of messages whose number is provably optimal, with or without knowing all continuous queries.

The final component of this dissertation is the design of a wide-area dissemination network for continuous range queries. In particular, this dissertation addresses the problem of assigning users to servers in a wide-area content-based publish/subscribe system. A good assignment should consider both users' interests and locations, and balance multiple performance criteria including bandwidth, delay, and load balance. This dissertation presents a Monte Carlo approximation algorithm as well as a simple greedy algorithm. The Monte Carlo algorithm jointly considers multiple performance criteria to find a broker-subscriber assignment and provides theoretical performance guarantees. Using this algorithm as a yardstick, the greedy algorithm is also concluded to work well across a wide range of workloads.





Yu, Albert (2013). Algorithms for continuous queries: A geometric approach. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from


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