The Price of Generality in Spatial Indexing
Efficient indexing can significantly speed up the processing of large volumes of spatial data in many BigData applications. Many new emerging spatial applications (e.g., biomedical imaging, genome analysis, etc.) have varying indexing requirements, thus, a unified indexing infrastructure for implementing new indexing schemes without requiring knowledge of database internals is beneficial. However, designing a generic indexing framework is a challenging task. The authors study the issues with general indexing schemes, such as the GiST (used in PostGIS) and expose the tradeoff between generality and performance, showing that generality can be severely detrimental to performance if the abstractions are not carefully designed.