ArangoSearch Views Reference

ArangoSearch Views enable sophisticated information retrieval queries such as full-text search for unstructured or semi-structured data over documents from different collections, filtering on multiple document attributes and sorting the documents that satisfy the search criteria by relevance.

Views guarantee the best execution plan (merge join) when querying multiple attributes, unlike collections with user-defined indexes.

The searching and ranking capabilities are provided by the IResearch library.

Views can be managed in the Web UI, via an HTTP API and through a JavaScript API.

Views can be queried with AQL via the SEARCH operation.

See Information Retrieval with ArangoSearch for an introduction.

View Definition/Modification

An ArangoSearch View is configured via an object containing a set of View-specific configuration directives and a map of link-specific configuration directives.

During View creation the following directives apply:

  • name (string, immutable): the View name
  • type (string, immutable): the value "arangosearch"
  • any of the directives from the section View Properties

During view modification the following directives apply:

  • links (object, optional): a mapping of collection-name / collection-identifier to one of:
    • link creation - link definition as per the section Link properties
    • link removal - JSON keyword null (i.e. nullify a link if present)
  • any of the directives from the section View Properties
  • analyzers (optional; type: array; subtype: string; default: [ "identity" ])

    A list of Analyzers, by name as defined via the Analyzers, that should be applied to values of processed document attributes.

  • fields (optional; type: object; default: {})

    An object { attribute-name: [Link properties], … } of fields that should be processed at each level of the document. Each key specifies the document attribute to be processed. Note that the value of includeAllFields is also consulted when selecting fields to be processed. It is a recursive data structure. Each value specifies the Link properties directives to be used when processing the specified field, a Link properties value of {} denotes inheritance of all (except fields) directives from the current level.

  • includeAllFields (optional; type: boolean; default: false)

    If set to true, then process all document attributes. Otherwise, only consider attributes mentioned in fields. Attributes not explicitly specified in fields will be processed with default link properties, i.e. {}.

    Using includeAllFields for a lot of attributes in combination with complex Analyzers may significantly slow down the indexing process.

  • trackListPositions (optional; type: boolean; default: false)

    If set to true, then for array values track the value position in arrays. E.g., when querying for the input { attr: [ "valueX", "valueY", "valueZ" ] }, the user must specify: doc.attr[1] == "valueY". Otherwise, all values in an array are treated as equal alternatives. E.g., when querying for the input { attr: [ "valueX", "valueY", "valueZ" ] }, the user must specify: doc.attr == "valueY".

  • storeValues (optional; type: string; default: "none")

    This property controls how the view should keep track of the attribute values. Valid values are:

    • none: Do not store value meta data in the View.
    • id: Store information about value presence to allow use of the EXISTS() function.

    Not to be confused with storedValues, which stores attribute values in the View index.

  • inBackground (optional; type: boolean; default: false)

    If set to true, then no exclusive lock is used on the source collection during View index creation, so that it remains basically available. inBackground is an option that can be set when adding links. It does not get persisted as it is not a View property, but only a one-off option. Also see: Creating Indexes in Background

View Properties

  • primarySort (optional; type: array; default: []; immutable)

    A primary sort order can be defined to enable an AQL optimization. If a query iterates over all documents of a View, wants to sort them by attribute values and the (left-most) fields to sort by as well as their sorting direction match with the primarySort definition, then the SORT operation is optimized away. Also see Primary Sort Order

  • primarySortCompression (optional; type: string; default: lz4; immutable)

    Introduced in: v3.7.1

    Defines how to compress the primary sort data (introduced in v3.7.0). ArangoDB v3.5 and v3.6 always compress the index using LZ4.

    • "lz4" (default): use LZ4 fast compression.
    • "none": disable compression to trade space for speed.
  • storedValues (optional; type: array; default: []; immutable)

    Introduced in: v3.7.1

    An array of objects to describe which document attributes to store in the View index. It can then cover search queries, which means the data can be taken from the index directly and accessing the storage engine can be avoided.

    Each object is expected in the form { "fields": [ "attr1", "attr2", ... "attrN" ], "compression": "none" }, where the required fields attribute is an array of strings with one or more document attribute paths. The specified attributes are placed into a single column of the index. A column with all fields that are involved in common search queries is ideal for performance. The column should not include too many unneeded fields however. The optional compression attribute defines the compression type used for the internal column-store, which can be "lz4" (LZ4 fast compression, default) or "none" (no compression).

    Not to be confused with storeValues, which allows to store meta data about attribute values in the View index.

An inverted index is the heart of ArangoSearch Views. The index consists of several independent segments and the index segment itself is meant to be treated as a standalone index. Commit is meant to be treated as the procedure of accumulating processed data creating new index segments. Consolidation is meant to be treated as the procedure of joining multiple index segments into a bigger one and removing garbage documents (e.g. deleted from a collection). Cleanup is meant to be treated as the procedure of removing unused segments after release of internal resources.

  • cleanupIntervalStep (optional; type: integer; default: 2; to disable use: 0)

    ArangoSearch waits at least this many commits between removing unused files in its data directory for the case where the consolidation policies merge segments often (i.e. a lot of commit+consolidate). A lower value will cause a lot of disk space to be wasted for the case where the consolidation policies rarely merge segments (i.e. few inserts/deletes). A higher value will impact performance without any added benefits.

    With every commit or consolidate operation a new state of the view internal data-structures is created on disk. Old states/snapshots are released once there are no longer any users remaining. However, the files for the released states/snapshots are left on disk, and only removed by “cleanup” operation.

  • commitIntervalMsec (optional; type: integer; default: 1000; to disable use: 0)

    Wait at least this many milliseconds between committing View data store changes and making documents visible to queries.

    For the case where there are a lot of inserts/updates, a lower value, until commit, will cause the index not to account for them and memory usage would continue to grow. For the case where there are a few inserts/updates, a higher value will impact performance and waste disk space for each commit call without any added benefits.

    For data retrieval ArangoSearch Views follow the concept of “eventually-consistent”, i.e. eventually all the data in ArangoDB will be matched by corresponding query expressions. The concept of ArangoSearch View “commit” operation is introduced to control the upper-bound on the time until document addition/removals are actually reflected by corresponding query expressions. Once a “commit” operation is complete all documents added/removed prior to the start of the “commit” operation will be reflected by queries invoked in subsequent ArangoDB transactions, in-progress ArangoDB transactions will still continue to return a repeatable-read state.

  • consolidationIntervalMsec (optional; type: integer; default: 1000; to disable use: 0)

    Wait at least this many milliseconds between applying consolidationPolicy to consolidate View data store and possibly release space on the filesystem.

    For the case where there are a lot of data modification operations, a higher value could potentially have the data store consume more space and file handles. For the case where there are a few data modification operations, a lower value will impact performance due to no segment candidates available for consolidation.

    For data modification ArangoSearch Views follow the concept of a “versioned data store”. Thus old versions of data may be removed once there are no longer any users of the old data. The frequency of the cleanup and compaction operations are governed by consolidationIntervalMsec and the candidates for compaction are selected via consolidationPolicy.

ArangoSearch performs operations in its index based on numerous writer objects that are mapped to processed segments. In order to control memory that is used by these writers (in terms of “writers pool”) one can use writebuffer* properties of a view.

  • writebufferIdle (optional; type: integer; default: 64; to disable use: 0; immutable)

    Maximum number of writers (segments) cached in the pool.

  • writebufferActive (optional; type: integer; default: 0; to disable use: 0; immutable)

    Maximum number of concurrent active writers (segments) that perform a transaction. Other writers (segments) wait till current active writers (segments) finish.

  • writebufferSizeMax (optional; type: integer; default: 33554432; to disable use: 0; immutable)

    Maximum memory byte size per writer (segment) before a writer (segment) flush is triggered. 0 value turns off this limit for any writer (buffer) and data will be flushed periodically based on the value defined for the flush thread (ArangoDB server startup option). 0 value should be used carefully due to high potential memory consumption.

  • consolidationPolicy (optional; type: object; default: {})

    The consolidation policy to apply for selecting data store segment merge candidates.

    With each ArangoDB transaction that inserts documents, one or more ArangoSearch internal segments gets created. Similarly, for removed documents the segments containing such documents will have these documents marked as “deleted”. Over time this approach causes a lot of small and sparse segments to be created. A consolidation operation selects one or more segments and copies all of their valid documents into a single new segment, thereby allowing the search algorithm to perform more optimally and for extra file handles to be released once old segments are no longer used.

    • type (optional; type: string; default: "bytes_accum")

      The segment candidates for the “consolidation” operation are selected based upon several possible configurable formulas as defined by their types. The currently supported types are:

      • "bytes_accum": Consolidation is performed based on current memory consumption of segments and threshold property value.
      • "tier": Consolidate based on segment byte size and live document count as dictated by the customization attributes.

The “bytes_accum” policy type is deprecated and remains in ArangoSearch for backwards compatibility with the older versions. Please make sure to always use the “tier” policy instead.

consolidationPolicy properties for "bytes_accum" type:

  • threshold (optional; type: float; default: 0.1)

    Defines threshold value of [0.0, 1.0] possible range. Consolidation is performed on segments which accumulated size in bytes is less than all segments’ byte size multiplied by the threshold; i.e. the following formula is applied for each segment: {threshold} > (segment_bytes + sum_of_merge_candidate_segment_bytes) / all_segment_bytes.

consolidationPolicy properties for "tier" type:

  • segmentsMin (optional; type: integer; default: 1)

    The minimum number of segments that will be evaluated as candidates for consolidation.

  • segmentsMax (optional; type: integer; default: 10)

    The maximum number of segments that will be evaluated as candidates for consolidation.

  • segmentsBytesMax (optional; type: integer; default: 5368709120)

    Maximum allowed size of all consolidated segments in bytes.

  • segmentsBytesFloor (optional; type: integer; default: 2097152)

    Defines the value (in bytes) to treat all smaller segments as equal for consolidation selection.