A design space for RDF data representations

Tomer Sagi, Matteo Lissandrini, Torben Bach Pedersen, Katja Hose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


RDF triplestores’ ability to store and query knowledge bases augmented with semantic annotations has attracted the attention of both research and industry. A multitude of systems offer varying data representation and indexing schemes. However, as recently shown for designing data structures, many design choices are biased by outdated considerations and may not result in the most efficient data representation for a given query workload. To overcome this limitation, we identify a novel three-dimensional design space. Within this design space, we map the trade-offs between different RDF data representations employed as part of an RDF triplestore and identify unexplored solutions. We complement the review with an empirical evaluation of ten standard SPARQL benchmarks to examine the prevalence of these access patterns in synthetic and real query workloads. We find some access patterns, to be both prevalent in the workloads and under-supported by existing triplestores. This shows the capabilities of our model to be used by RDF store designers to reason about different design choices and allow a (possibly artificially intelligent) designer to evaluate the fit between a given system design and a query workload.

Original languageEnglish
JournalVLDB Journal
Issue number2
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is supported by the Independent Research Fund Denmark under Grant No. DFF-8048-00051B (RelWeb) and the SEMIOTIC project, Aalborg University’s Talent Programme, the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Grant agreement No. 838216, and the Poul Due Jensen Foundation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).


  • Data representation
  • Database
  • Knowledge graphs
  • Query
  • RDF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture


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