Quasi-Succinct Indices

19 Jun 2012  ·  Sebastiano Vigna ·

Compressed inverted indices in use today are based on the idea of gap compression: documents pointers are stored in increasing order, and the gaps between successive document pointers are stored using suitable codes which represent smaller gaps using less bits. Additional data such as counts and positions is stored using similar techniques. A large body of research has been built in the last 30 years around gap compression, including theoretical modeling of the gap distribution, specialized instantaneous codes suitable for gap encoding, and ad hoc document reorderings which increase the efficiency of instantaneous codes. This paper proposes to represent an index using a different architecture based on quasi-succinct representation of monotone sequences. We show that, besides being theoretically elegant and simple, the new index provides expected constant-time operations and, in practice, significant performance improvements on conjunctive, phrasal and proximity queries.

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