Performance Issues in Distributed Shared-Nothing Information Retrieval Systems

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Working Paper

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Abstract or Description

Many information retrieval systems provides access to abstracts. For example Stanford University, through its FOLIO system, provides access to the INSPEC database of abstracts of the literature on physics, computer science, electrical engineering, etc. In this article this database is studied by using a trace-driven simulation. We focus on a physical index design which accommodates truncations, inverted index caching, and database scaling in a distributed shared-nothing system. All three issues are shown to have a strong effect on response time and throughput. Database scaling is explored in two ways. One way assumes an ``optimal'' configuration for a single host and then linearly scales the database by duplicating the host architecture as needed. The second way determines the optimal number of hosts given a fixed database size.