Knowledge and Information Systems

, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 301–328 | Cite as

TKAP: Efficiently processing top-k query on massive data by adaptive pruning

  • Xixian HanEmail author
  • Xianmin Liu
  • Jianzhong Li
  • Hong Gao
Regular Paper


In many applications, top-k query is an important operation to return a set of interesting points in a potentially huge data space. The existing algorithms, either maintaining too many candidates, or requiring assistant structures built on the specific attribute subset, or returning results with probabilistic guarantee, cannot process top-k query on massive data efficiently. This paper proposes a sorted-list-based TKAP algorithm, which utilizes some data structures of low space overhead, to efficiently compute top-k results on massive data. In round-robin retrieval on sorted lists, TKAP performs adaptive pruning operation and maintains the required candidates until the stop condition is satisfied. The adaptive pruning operation can be adjusted by the information obtained in round-robin retrieval to achieve a better pruning effect. The adaptive pruning rule is developed in this paper, along with its theoretical analysis. The extensive experimental results, conducted on synthetic and real-life data sets, show the significant advantage of TKAP over the existing algorithms.


Massive data TKAP algorithm Sorted list Adaptive pruning 



This work was supported in part by the National Basic Research (973) Program of China under Grant No. 2012CB316200, the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant Nos. 61402130, 61272046, 61190115, 61173022, 61033015, Shandong Provincial Natural Science Foundation under Grant No. ZR2013FQ028, Natural Scientific Research Innovation Foundation in Harbin Institute of Technology under Grant Nos. HIT.NSRIF.2014136 and HIT(WH)201308.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xixian Han
    • 1
    Email author
  • Xianmin Liu
    • 1
  • Jianzhong Li
    • 1
  • Hong Gao
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Computer Science and TechnologyHarbin Institute of TechnologyHarbinChina

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