GRAPHiQL: A graph intuitive query language for relational databases

International Conference on Big Data |

Published by IEEE

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Graph analytics is becoming increasingly popular, driving many important business applications from social network analysis to machine learning. Since most graph data is collected in a relational database, it seems natural to attempt to perform graph analytics within the relational environment. However, SQL, the query language for relational databases, makes it difficult to express graph analytics operations. This is because SQL requires programmers to think in terms of tables and joins, rather than the more natural representation of graphs as collections of nodes and edges. As a result, even relatively simple graph operations can require very complex SQL queries. In this paper, we present GRAPHiQL, an intuitive query language for graph analytics, which allows developers to reason in terms of nodes and edges. GRAPHiQL provides key graph constructs such as looping, recursion, and neighborhood operations. At runtime, GRAPHiQL compiles graph programs into efficient SQL queries that can run on any relational database. We demonstrate the applicability of GRAPHiQL on several applications and compare the performance of GRAPHiQL queries with those of Apache Giraph (a popular ‘vertex centric’ graph programming language).