Space-Time Tradeoffs for Answering Boolean Conjunctive Queries

by   Shaleen Deep, et al.

In this paper, we investigate space-time tradeoffs for answering boolean conjunctive queries. The goal is to create a data structure in an initial preprocessing phase and use it for answering (multiple) queries. Previous work has developed data structures that trade off space usage for answering time and has proved conditional space lower bounds for queries of practical interest such as the path and triangle query. However, most of these results cater to only those queries, lack a comprehensive framework, and are not generalizable. The isolated treatment of these queries also fails to utilize the connections with extensive research on related problems within the database community. The key insight in this work is to exploit the formalism of relational algebra by casting the problems as answering join queries over a relational database. Using the notion of boolean adorned queries and access patterns, we propose a unified framework that captures several widely studied algorithmic problems. Our main contribution is three-fold. First, we present an algorithm that recovers existing space-time tradeoffs for several problems. The algorithm is based on an application of the join size bound to capture the space usage of our data structure. We combine our data structure with query decomposition techniques to further improve the tradeoffs and show that it is readily extensible to queries with negation. Second, we falsify two conjectures proposed in the existing literature that relates to the space-time lower bound for path queries and triangle detection by proposing an unexpectedly better algorithm. This result opens a new avenue for improving several algorithmic results that have so far been assumed to be (conditionally) optimal. Finally, we prove new conditional space-time lower bounds for star and path queries.


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