Histogram-Based Approximation of Set-Valued Query-Answers.

Yannis E. Ioannidis, Viswanath Poosala: Histogram-Based Approximation of Set-Valued Query-Answers. VLDB 1999: 174-185
  author    = {Yannis E. Ioannidis and
               Viswanath Poosala},
  editor    = {Malcolm P. Atkinson and
               Maria E. Orlowska and
               Patrick Valduriez and
               Stanley B. Zdonik and
               Michael L. Brodie},
  title     = {Histogram-Based Approximation of Set-Valued Query-Answers},
  booktitle = {VLDB'99, Proceedings of 25th International Conference on Very
               Large Data Bases, September 7-10, 1999, Edinburgh, Scotland,
  publisher = {Morgan Kaufmann},
  year      = {1999},
  isbn      = {1-55860-615-7},
  pages     = {174-185},
  ee        = {db/conf/vldb/IoannidisP99.html},
  crossref  = {DBLP:conf/vldb/99},
  bibsource = {DBLP,}


Answering queries approximately has recently been proposed as a way to reduce query response times in on-line decision support systems, when the precise answer is not necessary or early feedback is helpful. Most of the work in this area uses sampling-based techniques and handles aggregate queries, ignoring queries that return relations as answers. In this paper, we extend the scope of approximate query answering to general queries. We propose a novel and intuitive error measure for quantifying the error in an approximate query answer, which can be a multiset in general. We also study the use of histograms in approximate query answering as an alternative to sampling. In that direction, we develop a histogram algebra and demonstrate how complex SQL queries on a database may be translated into algebraic operations on the corresponding histograms. Finally, we present the results of an initial set of experiments where various types of histograms and sampling are compared with respect to their effectiveness in approximate query answering as captured by the introduced error measure. The results indicate that the MaxDiff(V,A) histograms provide quality approximations for both set-valued and aggregate queries, while sampling is competitive mainly for aggregate queries with no join operators.

Copyright © 1999 by the VLDB Endowment. Permission to copy without fee all or part of this material is granted provided that the copies are not made or distributed for direct commercial advantage, the VLDB copyright notice and the title of the publication and its date appear, and notice is given that copying is by the permission of the Very Large Data Base Endowment. To copy otherwise, or to republish, requires a fee and/or special permission from the Endowment.

Online Paper

DVD Version: Load ACM SIGMOD Anthology DVD 1" and ... BibTeX

Printed Edition

Malcolm P. Atkinson, Maria E. Orlowska, Patrick Valduriez, Stanley B. Zdonik, Michael L. Brodie (Eds.): VLDB'99, Proceedings of 25th International Conference on Very Large Data Bases, September 7-10, 1999, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. Morgan Kaufmann 1999, ISBN 1-55860-615-7
Contents BibTeX


Swarup Acharya, Phillip B. Gibbons, Viswanath Poosala, Sridhar Ramaswamy: Join Synopses for Approximate Query Answering. SIGMOD Conference 1999: 275-286 BibTeX
Peter Buneman, Susan B. Davidson, Aaron Watters: A Semantics for Complex Objects and Approximate Queries. PODS 1988: 305-314 BibTeX
Chung-Min Chen, Nick Roussopoulos: Adaptive Selectivity Estimation Using Query Feedback. SIGMOD Conference 1994: 161-172 BibTeX
Phillip B. Gibbons, Yossi Matias: New Sampling-Based Summary Statistics for Improving Approximate Query Answers. SIGMOD Conference 1998: 331-342 BibTeX
Phillip B. Gibbons, Yossi Matias, Viswanath Poosala: Fast Incremental Maintenance of Approximate Histograms. VLDB 1997: 466-475 BibTeX
Joseph M. Hellerstein, Peter J. Haas, Helen J. Wang: Online Aggregation. SIGMOD Conference 1997: 171-182 BibTeX
Robert Kooi: The Optimization of Queries in Relational Databases. Ph.D. thesis, Case Western Reserve University 1980
Richard J. Lipton, Jeffrey F. Naughton, Donovan A. Schneider: Practical Selectivity Estimation through Adaptive Sampling. SIGMOD Conference 1990: 1-11 BibTeX
Amihai Motro: Query Generalization: A Method for Interpreting Null Answers. Expert Database Workshop 1984: 597-616 BibTeX
Gultekin Özsoyoglu, Kaizheng Du, Sujatha Guru Swamy, Wen-Chi Hou: Processing Real-Time, Non-Aggregate Queries with Time-Constraints in CASE-DB. ICDE 1992: 410-417 BibTeX
Gregory Piatetsky-Shapiro, Charles Connell: Accurate Estimation of the Number of Tuples Satisfying a Condition. SIGMOD Conference 1984: 256-276 BibTeX
Viswanath Poosala, Venkatesh Ganti: Fast Approximate Answers to Aggregate Queries on a Data Cube. SSDBM 1999: 24-33 BibTeX
Viswanath Poosala, Venkatesh Ganti: Fast Approximate Query Answering Using Precomputed Statistics. ICDE 1999: 252 BibTeX
Viswanath Poosala, Yannis E. Ioannidis: Selectivity Estimation Without the Attribute Value Independence Assumption. VLDB 1997: 486-495 BibTeX
Viswanath Poosala, Yannis E. Ioannidis, Peter J. Haas, Eugene J. Shekita: Improved Histograms for Selectivity Estimation of Range Predicates. SIGMOD Conference 1996: 294-305 BibTeX
Jeffrey Scott Vitter, Min Wang, Balakrishna R. Iyer: Data Cube Approximation and Histograms via Wavelets. CIKM 1998: 96-104 BibTeX
Susan V. Vrbsky, Jane W.-S. Liu: APPROXIMATE - A Query Processor that Produces Monotonically Improving Approximate Answers. IEEE Trans. Knowl. Data Eng. 5(6): 1056-1068(1993) BibTeX
George Kingsley Zipf: Human Behaviour and the Principle of Least Effort: an Introduction to Human Ecology. Addison-Wesley 1949

Referenced by

  1. Kaushik Chakrabarti, Minos N. Garofalakis, Rajeev Rastogi, Kyuseok Shim: Approximate Query Processing Using Wavelets. VLDB 2000: 111-122
  2. Dimitrios Gunopulos, George Kollios, Vassilis J. Tsotras, Carlotta Domeniconi: Approximating Multi-Dimensional Aggregate Range Queries over Real Attributes. SIGMOD Conference 2000: 463-474
  3. Swarup Acharya, Phillip B. Gibbons, Viswanath Poosala: Congressional Samples for Approximate Answering of Group-By Queries. SIGMOD Conference 2000: 487-498
  4. Viswanath Poosala, Venkatesh Ganti, Yannis E. Ioannidis: Approximate Query Answering using Histograms. IEEE Data Eng. Bull. 22(4): 5-14(1999)
  5. Swarup Acharya, Phillip B. Gibbons, Viswanath Poosala: Aqua: A Fast Decision Support Systems Using Approximate Query Answers. VLDB 1999: 754-757
ACM SIGMOD Anthology - DBLP: [Home | Search: Author, Title | Conferences | Journals]
VLDB Proceedings: Copyright © by VLDB Endowment,
ACM SIGMOD Anthology: Copyright © by ACM (, Corrections:
DBLP: Copyright © by Michael Ley (, last change: Sat May 16 23:46:26 2009