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2. Summarization Patterns > Inverted Index Summarizations

Inverted Index Summarizations

Pattern Description

The inverted index pattern is commonly used as an example for MapReduce analytics. We’re going to discuss the general case where we want to build a map of some term to a list of identifiers.


Generate an index from a data set to allow for faster searches or data enrichment capabilities.


It is often convenient to index large data sets on keywords, so that searches can trace terms back to records that contain specific values. While building an inverted index does require extra processing up front, taking the time to do so can greatly reduce the amount of time it takes to find something.

Search engines build indexes to improve search performance. Imagine entering a keyword and letting the engine crawl the Internet and build a list of pages to return to you. Such a query would take an extremely long amount of time to complete. By building an inverted index, the search engine knows all the web pages related to a keyword ahead of time and these results are simply displayed to the user. These indexes are often ingested into a database for fast query responses. Building an inverted index is a fairly straightforward application of MapReduce because the framework handles a majority of the work.


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