Skip to main content




The B+-tree is a disk-based, paginated, dynamically updateable, balanced, and tree-like index structure. It supports the exact match query as well as insertion/deletion operations in O(log p n) I/Os, where n is the number of records in the tree and p is the page capacity in number of records. It also supports the range searches in O(log p n + tp) I/Os, where t is the number of records in the query result.

Historical Background

The binary search tree is a well-known data structure. When the data volume is so large that the tree does not fit in main memory, a disk-based search tree is necessary. The most commonly used disk-based search trees are the B-tree and its variations. Originally invented by Bayer and McCreight [2], the B-tree may be regarded as an extension of the balanced binary tree, since a B-tree is always balanced (i.e., all leaf nodes are on the same level). Since each disk access retrieves or updates an entire block of information between...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or eBook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
USD 2,500.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Recommended Reading

  1. Bayer R. The universal B-tree for multidimensional indexing: general concepts. In Proc. Int. Conf. on Worldwide Computing and Its Applications (WWCA), 1997, pp. 198–209.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Bayer R. and McCreight E.M. Organization and maintenance of large ordered indices. Acta Inf., 1, 1972.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Comer D. The ubiquitous B-tree. ACM Comput. Surv., 11(2), 1979.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Knuth D. The Art of Computer Programming, Vol. 3: Sorting and Searching. Addison Wesley, MA, USA, 1973.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Robinson J. The K-D-B tree: a search structure for large multidimensional dynamic indexes. In Proc. ACM SIGMOD Int. Conf. on Management of Data, 1981, pp. 10–18.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Srinivasan V. and Carey M.J. Performance of B+ tree concurrency algorithms. VLDB J., 2(4):361–406, 1993.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Theodoridis Y. The R-tree-portal., 2003.

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC

About this entry

Cite this entry

Zhang, D., Baclawski, K.P., J. Tsotras, V. (2009). B+-Tree. In: LIU, L., ÖZSU, M.T. (eds) Encyclopedia of Database Systems. Springer, Boston, MA.

Download citation

Publish with us

Policies and ethics