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2002 Technical Reports

Skyline with Presorting

Jan Chomicki, Parke Godfrey, Jarek Gryz and Dongming Liang

Technical Report CS-2002-04

York University

October 2002


There has been interest recently in skyline queries, also called Pareto queries, on relational databases. Relational query languages do not support search for "best" tuples, beyond the ORDER BY statement. The proposed skyline operator allows one to query for best tuples with respect to any number of attributes as preferences.

The skyline operator offers a powerful mechanism for expressing preference queries over relational databases. Straightforward evaluation of skyline queries by current relational engines, however, is prohibitively expensive. An efficient algorithm for skyline is needed.

In this work, we explore what the skyline means, and why skyline queries are useful, particularly for expressing preference. We develop an algorithm for computing skyline queries that is well-behaved and efficient, particularly within a relational setting. There have been two substantial efforts to date to develop algorithms for computing skyline in the relational context. Our algorithm improves on these in efficiency, pipelinabilty of output (of the skyline tuples), stability of run-time performance, and being applicable in any context.

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