Schmidt, Tobias

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On the Performance of Analytical and Pattern Matching Graph Queries in Neo4j and a Relational Database

2017, Hölsch, Jürgen, Schmidt, Tobias, Grossniklaus, Michael

Graph databases with a custom non-relational backend promote themselves to outperform relational databases in answering queries on large graphs. Recent empirical studies show that this claim is not always true. However, these studies focus only on pattern matching queries and neglect analytical queries used in practice such as shortest path, diameter, degree centrality or closeness centrality. In addition, there is no distinction between different types of pattern matching queries. In this paper, we introduce a set of analytical and pattern matching queries, and evaluate them in Neo4j and a market-leading commercial relational database system. We show that the relational database system outperforms Neo4j for our analytical queries and that Neo4j is faster for queries that do not filter on specific edge types.