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How to work with indexes

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Hood

A database index is a data structure used to improve the speed of data retrieval within a database at the cost of additional writes and storage space for maintaining the index data structure.

When a query is executed, the engine first checks if there is an index. An index stores additional information on certain types of data so that retrieving indexed data becomes more efficient.

Memgraph supports two types of indexes:

  • label index
  • label-property index

How to check if indexes exist?

To check if indexes exist, use the following Cypher query:

SHOW INDEX INFO;

The results of this query will be all of the labels and label-property pairs that Memgraph currently indexes.

How to create indexes?

Memgraph will not automatically index labeled data. If you want to optimize queries that fetch nodes using labels, you need to create indexes.

If you have a node Person and you want to create an index for it, run the following query:

CREATE INDEX ON :Person;

You can also create indexes on data with a specific combination of label and property, hence the name label-property index.

For example, if you are storing information about people and you often retrieve their age, it might be beneficial to create an index on nodes labeled as :Person with a property named age by using the following language construct:

CREATE INDEX ON :Person(age);
tip

For the best performance, create index on properties containing unique integer values.

How to delete indexes?

You can delete created indexes by using the following Cypher queries:

DROP INDEX ON :Person;
DROP INDEX ON :Person(age);

These queries instruct all active transactions to abort as soon as possible. Once all transactions have finished, the index will be deleted.