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Tight Fine-Grained Bounds for Direct Access on Join Queries

by   Karl Bringmann, et al.

We consider the task of lexicographic direct access to query answers. That is, we want to simulate an array containing the answers of a join query sorted in a lexicographic order chosen by the user. A recent dichotomy showed for which queries and orders this task can be done in polylogarithmic access time after quasilinear preprocessing, but this dichotomy does not tell us how much time is required in the cases classified as hard. We determine the preprocessing time needed to achieve polylogarithmic access time for all self-join free queries and all lexicographical orders. To this end, we propose a decomposition-based general algorithm for direct access on join queries. We then explore its optimality by proving lower bounds for the preprocessing time based on the hardness of a certain online Set-Disjointness problem, which shows that our algorithm's bounds are tight for all lexicographic orders on self-join free queries. Then, we prove the hardness of Set-Disjointness based on the Zero-Clique Conjecture which is an established conjecture from fine-grained complexity theory. We also show that similar techniques can be used to prove that, for enumerating answers to Loomis-Whitney joins, it is not possible to significantly improve upon trivially computing all answers at preprocessing. This, in turn, gives further evidence (based on the Zero-Clique Conjecture) to the enumeration hardness of self-join free cyclic joins with respect to linear preprocessing and constant delay.


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