Scaling RDF with time

Andrea Pugliese*, Octavian Udrea, V. S. Subrahmanian

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

70 Scopus citations


The World Wide Web Consortium's RDF standard primarily consists of (subject, property, object) triples that specify the value that a given subject has for a given property. However, it is frequently the case that even for a fixed subject and property, the value varies with time. As a consequence, efforts have been made to annotate RDF triples with "valid time" intervals. However, to date, no proposals exist for efficient indexing of such temporal RDF databases. It is clearly beneficial to store RDF data in a relational DB - however, standard relational indexes are inadequately equipped to handle RDF's graph structure. In this paper, we propose the tGRIN index structure that builds a specialized index for temporal RDF that is physically stored in an RDBMS. Past efforts to store RDF in relational stores include Jena2 from HP, Sesame from, and 3store from the University of Southampton. We show that even when these efforts are augmented with well known temporal indexes like R+ trees, SR-trees, ST-index, and MAP21, the tGRIN index exhibits superior performance. In terms of index build time, tGRIN takes two thirds or less of the time used by any other system, and it uses a comparable amount of memory and less disk space than Jena, Sesame and 3store. More importantly, tGRIN can answer queries three to six times faster for average query graph patterns and five to ten times faster for complex queries than these systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceeding of the 17th International Conference on World Wide Web 2008, WWW'08
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes
Event17th International Conference on World Wide Web 2008, WWW'08 - Beijing, China
Duration: Apr 21 2008Apr 25 2008

Publication series

NameProceeding of the 17th International Conference on World Wide Web 2008, WWW'08


Other17th International Conference on World Wide Web 2008, WWW'08


  • RDF indexing
  • Resource description framework
  • Temporal RDF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications


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