[Rd] RSQLite indexing

hadley wickham h.wickham at gmail.com
Tue Oct 23 00:37:57 CEST 2007

On 10/22/07, Thomas Lumley <tlumley at u.washington.edu> wrote:
> I am trying to use RSQLite for storing data and  I need to create indexes on
> two variables in the table. It appears from searching the web that the CREATE
> INDEX operation in SQLite is relatively slow for large files, and this has been
> my experience as well.
> The two index variables are crossed. One has about 350,000 levels [yes, it's
> genetic association data]. The other will have about 4000 levels eventually,
> but is up to about 100 now.   When the data were entered they were already ordered by this second index variable.
> Creating the index took about an hour on the 100-level, presorted variable and about 12 hours on the 350,000-level unsorted variable.  I'm looking for advice on how to reduce this. Specifically

How big is your dataset?  SQLite can be slow, but I didn't think it
was that slow.

> 1/ would it be faster if the variable with more levels was the presorted one?

I didn't think this would matter (and can imagine situations where it
would be worse).  Is there a particular reason you think this might

> 2/ would it be faster or slower if the index were created before adding all the data?

It's generally much faster to create the index after loading all the data.

> 3/ are there any options that can be set to speed up the indexing?

Have you tried 'vacuum'ing your database prior to indexing?

Will you be indexing on both columns simultaneously?  If so, you might
try creating a single index.



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