Our paper Analyzing Vectorized Hash Tables Across CPU Architectures by Maximilian Böther, Lawrence Benson, Ana Klimovic, and Tilmann Rabl was accepted at VLDB '23 in Vancouver, Canada.
Data processing systems often leverage vector instructions to achieve higher performance.When applying vector instructions, an often overlooked data structure is the hash table, even though it is fundamental in data processing systems for operations such as indexing, aggregating, and joining. In this paper, we characterize and evaluate three fundamental vectorized hashing schemes, vectorized linear probing (VLP), vectorized fingerprinting (VFP), and bucket-based comparison (BBC). We implement these hashing schemes on the x86, ARM, and Power CPU architectures, as modern database systems must provide efficient implementations for multiple platforms due to the continuously increasing hardware heterogeneity. We present various implementation variants and platform-specific optimizations, which we evaluate for integer keys, string keys, large payloads, skewed distributions, and multiple threads. Our extensive evaluation and comparison to three scalar hashing schemes on four servers shows that BBC outperforms scalar linear probing by a factor of more than 2x, while also scaling well to high load factors. We find that vectorized hashing schemes come with caveats that need to be considered, such as the increased engineering overhead, differences between CPUs, and differences between vector ISAs, such as AVX and AVX-512, which impact performance. We conclude with key findings for vectorized hashing scheme implementations.