Alternatives to the B+- tree

  • William Boswell
  • Alan L. Tharp
Data And Software Engineering
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 468)


For many years, the b+ tree has been the file structure of choice for applications requiring both sequential and direct access. But two file structures developed recently for similar applications, bounded disorder file organization and adaptive hashing, may offer improvements. Are they better? In what ways? When should they be used? To answer these and related questions, this paper summarizes the performance characteristics, implementation aspects, and use considerations for these three file structures. The primary variation among the three techniques is the form of the index structure. Results from an investigation comparing the three methods are presented; parameters varied in the study were the distribution of the record keys, file size, and data node size. For many circumstances, one of the newer techniques is preferable to the b+-tree.

Key words

index structures b+-tree hashing bounded disorder adaptive hashing 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Bayer, R. and C. McCreigh, "Organization and Maintenance of Large Ordered Indexes," Acta Informatica, Vol. 1, No. 3 (1972), pp. 173–189.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Knuth, D.E., Sorting and Searching, Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA, 1973, p. 477.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Comer, D., "The Ubiquitous B-Tree", Computing Surveys, Vol. 11, No. 2 (June 1979), pp. 121–137.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Tharp, A.L., File Organization and Processing, John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY, 1988, pp. 243–253.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Litwin, Witold and David B. Lomet, "A New Method for Fast Data Searches with Keys", IEEE SOFTWARE, March 1987, pp 16–24.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hsiao, Yeong-Shiou, and Alan L. Tharp, "Adaptive Hashing," Information Systems, Vol. 13, No. 1, 1988, pp. 111–127.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Litwin, Witold, "Linear Hashing: A New Tool for File and Table Addressing", Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Very Large Data Bases, pp.212–213, October 1980.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Anderson, Alan, Personal Communication, 1989.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • William Boswell
    • 1
  • Alan L. Tharp
    • 2
  1. 1.Intergraph Corporation One Madison Industrial ParkHuntsvilleUSA
  2. 2.Computer Science DepartmentNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

Personalised recommendations