The use of indexes

This section describes the query plans when indexes are used in various scenarios.

The task of tuning calls for different indexes depending on what the queries look like. Therefore, it is important to have a fundamental understanding of how the indexes operate. This section describes the query plans that result from different index scenarios.

Node indexes and relationship indexes operate in the same way. Therefore, node and relationship indexes are used interchangeably in this section.

Please refer to Indexes for search performance for instructions on how to create and maintain the indexes themselves.

1. Index types and predicate compatibility

There are different types of indexes available in Neo4j but they are not all compatible with the same property predicates.

Indexes are commonly used for MATCH and OPTIONAL MATCH clauses that combine a label predicate with a property predicate. Therefore, it is important to know what kind of predicates that can be solved by the different indexes.

1.1. BTREE indexes

BTREE indexes support all types of predicates:

Predicate Syntax

equality check

n.prop = value

list membership check

n.prop IN list

existence check

n.prop IS NOT NULL

range search

n.prop > value

prefix search

STARTS WITH

suffix search

ENDS WITH

substring search

CONTAINS

1.2. TEXT indexes

TEXT indexes only work for predicates operating on strings. That means that TEXT indexes are only used when it is known that the predicate evaluates to null for all non-string values.

Predicates that only operate on strings are always solvable by a TEXT index:

  • STARTS WITH

  • ENDS WITH

  • CONTAINS

However, other predicates are only used when it is known that the property is compared to a string:

  • n.prop = "string"

  • n.prop IN ["a", "b", "c"]

  • n.prop > "string"

This means that a TEXT index is not able to solve e.g. a.prop = b.prop.

In summary, TEXT indexes support the following predicates:

Predicate Syntax

equality check

n.prop = "string"

list membership check

n.prop IN ["a", "b", "c"]

range search

n.prop > "string"

prefix search

STARTS WITH

suffix search

ENDS WITH

substring search

CONTAINS

2. Index preference

When multiple indexes are available and able to solve a predicate, there is an order defined that decides which index to use. It is defined as such:

  • TEXT indexes are preferred over BTREE indexes for CONTAINS and ENDS WITH.

  • BTREE indexes are preferred over TEXT indexes in all other cases.

3. Node BTREE index example

In the example below, a Person(firstname) node BTREE index is available.

Query
MATCH (person:Person {firstname: 'Andy'}) RETURN person
Query Plan
Compiler CYPHER 4.4

Planner COST

Runtime PIPELINED

Runtime version 4.4

+-----------------+----------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| Operator        | Details                                                              | Estimated Rows | Rows | DB Hits | Memory (Bytes) | Page Cache Hits/Misses | Time (ms) | Other               |
+-----------------+----------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| +ProduceResults | person                                                               |              1 |    1 |       0 |                |                        |           | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
| |               +----------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+                        |           +---------------------+
| +NodeIndexSeek  | BTREE INDEX person:Person(firstname) WHERE firstname = $autostring_0 |              1 |    1 |       2 |             72 |                    2/1 |     1.211 | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
+-----------------+----------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+

Total database accesses: 2, total allocated memory: 136

4. Node TEXT index example

In the example below, a Person(surname) node TEXT index is available.

Query
MATCH (person:Person {surname: 'Smith'}) RETURN person
Query Plan
Compiler CYPHER 4.4

Planner COST

Runtime PIPELINED

Runtime version 4.4

+-----------------+-----------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| Operator        | Details                                                         | Estimated Rows | Rows | DB Hits | Memory (Bytes) | Page Cache Hits/Misses | Time (ms) | Other               |
+-----------------+-----------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| +ProduceResults | person                                                          |              2 |    1 |       0 |                |                        |           | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
| |               +-----------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+                        |           +---------------------+
| +NodeIndexSeek  | TEXT INDEX person:Person(surname) WHERE surname = $autostring_0 |              2 |    1 |       2 |             72 |                    2/0 |     3.935 | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
+-----------------+-----------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+

Total database accesses: 2, total allocated memory: 136

5. Relationship BTREE index example

In this example, a KNOWS(since) relationship BTREE index is available.

Query
MATCH (person)-[relationship:KNOWS { since: 1992 } ]->(friend) RETURN person, friend
Query Plan
Compiler CYPHER 4.4

Planner COST

Runtime PIPELINED

Runtime version 4.4

+--------------------------------+-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| Operator                       | Details                                                                             | Estimated Rows | Rows | DB Hits | Memory (Bytes) | Page Cache Hits/Misses | Time (ms) | Other               |
+--------------------------------+-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| +ProduceResults                | person, friend                                                                      |              1 |    1 |       0 |                |                        |           | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
| |                              +-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+                        |           +---------------------+
| +DirectedRelationshipIndexSeek | BTREE INDEX (person)-[relationship:KNOWS(since)]->(friend) WHERE since = $autoint_0 |              1 |    1 |       3 |             72 |                    2/1 |     1.407 | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
+--------------------------------+-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+

Total database accesses: 3, total allocated memory: 136

6. Relationship TEXT index example

In this example, a KNOWS(lastMetLocation) relationship TEXT index is available.

Query
MATCH (person)-[relationship:KNOWS { metIn: 'Malmo' } ]->(friend) RETURN person, friend
Query Plan
Compiler CYPHER 4.4

Planner COST

Runtime PIPELINED

Runtime version 4.4

+--------------------------------+---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| Operator                       | Details                                                                               | Estimated Rows | Rows | DB Hits | Memory (Bytes) | Page Cache Hits/Misses | Time (ms) | Other               |
+--------------------------------+---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| +ProduceResults                | person, friend                                                                        |              1 |    1 |       0 |                |                        |           | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
| |                              +---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+                        |           +---------------------+
| +DirectedRelationshipIndexSeek | TEXT INDEX (person)-[relationship:KNOWS(metIn)]->(friend) WHERE metIn = $autostring_0 |              1 |    1 |       3 |             72 |                    2/0 |    22.963 | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
+--------------------------------+---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+

Total database accesses: 3, total allocated memory: 136

7. Multiple available index types

In the example below, both a Person(middlename) node TEXT index and a Person(middlename) node BTREE index are available. The TEXT node index is chosen.

Query
MATCH (person:Person {middlename: 'Ron'}) RETURN person
Query Plan
Compiler CYPHER 4.4

Planner COST

Runtime PIPELINED

Runtime version 4.4

+-----------------+------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| Operator        | Details                                                                | Estimated Rows | Rows | DB Hits | Memory (Bytes) | Page Cache Hits/Misses | Time (ms) | Other               |
+-----------------+------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| +ProduceResults | person                                                                 |              1 |    1 |       0 |                |                        |           | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
| |               +------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+                        |           +---------------------+
| +NodeIndexSeek  | BTREE INDEX person:Person(middlename) WHERE middlename = $autostring_0 |              1 |    1 |       2 |             72 |                    2/1 |    10.255 | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
+-----------------+------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+

Total database accesses: 2, total allocated memory: 136

8. Equality check using WHERE (single-property index)

A query containing equality comparisons of a single indexed property in the WHERE clause is backed automatically by the index. It is also possible for a query with multiple OR predicates to use multiple indexes, if indexes exist on the properties. For example, if indexes exist on both :Label(p1) and :Label(p2), MATCH (n:Label) WHERE n.p1 = 1 OR n.p2 = 2 RETURN n will use both indexes.

Query
MATCH (person:Person) WHERE person.firstname = 'Andy' RETURN person
Query Plan
Compiler CYPHER 4.4

Planner COST

Runtime PIPELINED

Runtime version 4.4

+-----------------+----------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| Operator        | Details                                                              | Estimated Rows | Rows | DB Hits | Memory (Bytes) | Page Cache Hits/Misses | Time (ms) | Other               |
+-----------------+----------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| +ProduceResults | person                                                               |              1 |    1 |       0 |                |                        |           | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
| |               +----------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+                        |           +---------------------+
| +NodeIndexSeek  | BTREE INDEX person:Person(firstname) WHERE firstname = $autostring_0 |              1 |    1 |       2 |             72 |                    2/1 |     0.904 | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
+-----------------+----------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+

Total database accesses: 2, total allocated memory: 136

9. Equality check using WHERE (composite index)

A query containing equality comparisons for all the properties of a composite index will automatically be backed by the same index. However, the query does not need to have equality on all properties. It can have ranges and existence predicates as well. But in these cases rewrites might happen depending on which properties have which predicates, see composite index limitations. The following query will use the composite index defined earlier:

Query
MATCH (n:Person) WHERE n.age = 35 AND n.country = 'UK' RETURN n

However, the query MATCH (n:Person) WHERE n.age = 35 RETURN n will not be backed by the composite index, as the query does not contain a predicate on the country property. It will only be backed by an index on the Person label and age property defined thus: :Person(age); i.e. a single-property index.

+------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| n                                                                                                          |
+------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| Node[0]{country:"UK",firstname:"John",highScore:54321,surname:"Smith",name:"john",middlename:"Ron",age:35} |
+------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
1 row

10. Range comparisons using WHERE (single-property index)

Single-property indexes are also automatically used for inequality (range) comparisons of an indexed property in the WHERE clause.

Query
MATCH (friend)<-[r:KNOWS]-(person) WHERE r.since < 2011 RETURN friend, person
Query Plan
Compiler CYPHER 4.4

Planner COST

Runtime PIPELINED

Runtime version 4.4

+---------------------------------------+--------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| Operator                              | Details                                                                  | Estimated Rows | Rows | DB Hits | Memory (Bytes) | Page Cache Hits/Misses | Time (ms) | Other               |
+---------------------------------------+--------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| +ProduceResults                       | friend, person                                                           |              1 |    1 |       0 |                |                        |           | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
| |                                     +--------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+                        |           +---------------------+
| +DirectedRelationshipIndexSeekByRange | BTREE INDEX (person)-[r:KNOWS(since)]->(friend) WHERE since < $autoint_0 |              1 |    1 |       3 |             72 |                    2/1 |     0.960 | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
+---------------------------------------+--------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+

Total database accesses: 3, total allocated memory: 136

11. Range comparisons using WHERE (composite index)

Composite indexes are also automatically used for inequality (range) comparisons of indexed properties in the WHERE clause. Equality or list membership check predicates may precede the range predicate. However, predicates after the range predicate may be rewritten as an existence check predicate and a filter as described in composite index limitations.

Query
MATCH ()-[r:KNOWS]-() WHERE r.since < 2011 AND r.lastMet > 2019 RETURN r.since
Query Plan
Compiler CYPHER 4.4

Planner COST

Runtime PIPELINED

Runtime version 4.4

+----------------------------------+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| Operator                         | Details                                                                                             | Estimated Rows | Rows | DB Hits | Memory (Bytes) | Page Cache Hits/Misses | Time (ms) | Other               |
+----------------------------------+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| +ProduceResults                  | `r.since`                                                                                           |              2 |    2 |       0 |                |                        |           | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
| |                                +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+                        |           +---------------------+
| +Projection                      | cache[r.since] AS `r.since`                                                                         |              2 |    2 |       0 |                |                        |           | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
| |                                +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+                        |           +---------------------+
| +Filter                          | cache[r.lastMet] > $autoint_1                                                                       |              2 |    2 |       0 |                |                        |           | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
| |                                +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+                        |           +---------------------+
| +UndirectedRelationshipIndexSeek | BTREE INDEX (anon_0)-[r:KNOWS(since, lastMet)]-(anon_1) WHERE since < $autoint_0 AND lastMet IS NOT |              2 |    2 |       3 |             72 |                    1/1 |     2.145 | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
|                                  | NULL, cache[r.since], cache[r.lastMet]                                                              |                |      |         |                |                        |           |                     |
+----------------------------------+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+

Total database accesses: 3, total allocated memory: 136

12. Multiple range comparisons using WHERE (single-property index)

When the WHERE clause contains multiple inequality (range) comparisons for the same property, these can be combined in a single index range seek.

Query
MATCH (person:Person) WHERE 10000 < person.highScore < 20000 RETURN person
Query Plan
Compiler CYPHER 4.4

Planner COST

Runtime PIPELINED

Runtime version 4.4

+-----------------------+----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| Operator              | Details                                                                                      | Estimated Rows | Rows | DB Hits | Memory (Bytes) | Page Cache Hits/Misses | Time (ms) | Other               |
+-----------------------+----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| +ProduceResults       | person                                                                                       |              1 |    1 |       0 |                |                        |           | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
| |                     +----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+                        |           +---------------------+
| +NodeIndexSeekByRange | BTREE INDEX person:Person(highScore) WHERE highScore > $autoint_0 AND highScore < $autoint_1 |              1 |    1 |       2 |             72 |                    2/1 |     0.808 | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
+-----------------------+----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+

Total database accesses: 2, total allocated memory: 136

13. Multiple range comparisons using WHERE (composite index)

When the WHERE clause contains multiple inequality (range) comparisons for the same property, these can be combined in a single index range seek. That single range seek created in the following query will then use the composite index Person(highScore, name) if it exists.

Query
MATCH (person:Person) WHERE 10000 < person.highScore < 20000 AND person.name IS NOT NULL RETURN
  person
Query Plan
Compiler CYPHER 4.4

Planner COST

Runtime PIPELINED

Runtime version 4.4

+-----------------+------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| Operator        | Details                                                                                              | Estimated Rows | Rows | DB Hits | Memory (Bytes) | Page Cache Hits/Misses | Time (ms) | Other               |
+-----------------+------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| +ProduceResults | person                                                                                               |              1 |    1 |       0 |                |                        |           | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
| |               +------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+                        |           +---------------------+
| +NodeIndexSeek  | BTREE INDEX person:Person(highScore, name) WHERE highScore > $autoint_0 AND highScore < $autoint_1 A |              1 |    1 |       2 |             72 |                    2/1 |     5.662 | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
|                 | ND name IS NOT NULL                                                                                  |                |      |         |                |                        |           |                     |
+-----------------+------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+

Total database accesses: 2, total allocated memory: 136

14. List membership check using IN (single-property index)

The IN predicate on r.since in the following query will use the single-property index KNOWS(lastMetIn) if it exists.

Query
MATCH (person)-[r:KNOWS]->(friend) WHERE r.lastMetIn IN ['Malmo', 'Stockholm'] RETURN person, friend
Query Plan
Compiler CYPHER 4.4

Planner COST

Runtime PIPELINED

Runtime version 4.4

+--------------------------------+------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| Operator                       | Details                                                                            | Estimated Rows | Rows | DB Hits | Memory (Bytes) | Page Cache Hits/Misses | Time (ms) | Other               |
+--------------------------------+------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| +ProduceResults                | person, friend                                                                     |              1 |    1 |       0 |                |                        |           | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
| |                              +------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+                        |           +---------------------+
| +DirectedRelationshipIndexSeek | BTREE INDEX (person)-[r:KNOWS(lastMetIn)]->(friend) WHERE lastMetIn IN $autolist_0 |              1 |    1 |       4 |             72 |                    3/1 |     1.150 | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
+--------------------------------+------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+

Total database accesses: 4, total allocated memory: 136

15. List membership check using IN (composite index)

The IN predicates on r.since and r.lastMet in the following query will use the composite index KNOWS(since, lastMet) if it exists.

Query
MATCH (person)-[r:KNOWS]->(friend) WHERE r.since IN [1992, 2017] AND r.lastMet IN [2002,
  2021] RETURN person, friend
Query Plan
Compiler CYPHER 4.4

Planner COST

Runtime PIPELINED

Runtime version 4.4

+--------------------------------+------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| Operator                       | Details                                                                                              | Estimated Rows | Rows | DB Hits | Memory (Bytes) | Page Cache Hits/Misses | Time (ms) | Other               |
+--------------------------------+------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| +ProduceResults                | person, friend                                                                                       |              1 |    1 |       0 |                |                        |           | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
| |                              +------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+                        |           +---------------------+
| +DirectedRelationshipIndexSeek | BTREE INDEX (person)-[r:KNOWS(since, lastMet)]->(friend) WHERE since IN $autolist_0 AND lastMet IN $ |              1 |    1 |       6 |             72 |                    5/1 |    25.036 | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
|                                | autolist_1                                                                                           |                |      |         |                |                        |           |                     |
+--------------------------------+------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+

Total database accesses: 6, total allocated memory: 136

16. Prefix search using STARTS WITH (single-property index)

The STARTS WITH predicate on person.firstname in the following query will use the Person(firstname) index, if it exists.

Query
MATCH (person:Person) WHERE person.firstname STARTS WITH 'And' RETURN person
Query Plan
Compiler CYPHER 4.4

Planner COST

Runtime PIPELINED

Runtime version 4.4

+-----------------------+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| Operator              | Details                                                                        | Estimated Rows | Rows | DB Hits | Memory (Bytes) | Page Cache Hits/Misses | Time (ms) | Other               |
+-----------------------+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| +ProduceResults       | person                                                                         |              2 |    1 |       0 |                |                        |           | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
| |                     +--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+                        |           +---------------------+
| +NodeIndexSeekByRange | BTREE INDEX person:Person(firstname) WHERE firstname STARTS WITH $autostring_0 |              2 |    1 |       2 |             72 |                    3/0 |     3.897 | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
+-----------------------+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+

Total database accesses: 2, total allocated memory: 136

17. Prefix search using STARTS WITH (composite index)

The STARTS WITH predicate on person.firstname in the following query will use the Person(firstname,surname) index, if it exists. Any (non-existence check) predicate on person.surname will be rewritten as existence check with a filter. However, if the predicate on person.firstname is a equality check then a STARTS WITH on person.surname would also use the index (without rewrites). More information about how the rewriting works can be found in composite index limitations.

Query
MATCH (person:Person) WHERE person.firstname STARTS WITH 'And' AND person.surname IS NOT NULL RETURN
  person
Query Plan
Compiler CYPHER 4.4

Planner COST

Runtime PIPELINED

Runtime version 4.4

+-----------------+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| Operator        | Details                                                                                             | Estimated Rows | Rows | DB Hits | Memory (Bytes) | Page Cache Hits/Misses | Time (ms) | Other               |
+-----------------+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| +ProduceResults | person                                                                                              |              1 |    1 |       0 |                |                        |           | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
| |               +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+                        |           +---------------------+
| +NodeIndexSeek  | BTREE INDEX person:Person(firstname, surname) WHERE firstname STARTS WITH $autostring_0 AND surname |              1 |    1 |       2 |             72 |                    3/0 |     0.898 | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
|                 | IS NOT NULL                                                                                         |                |      |         |                |                        |           |                     |
+-----------------+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+

Total database accesses: 2, total allocated memory: 136

18. Suffix search using ENDS WITH (single-property index)

The ENDS WITH predicate on r.metIn in the following query uses the KNOWS(metIn) index, if it exists. All values stored in the KNOWS(metIn) index are searched, and entries ending with 'mo' are returned. This means that although the search is not optimized to the extent of queries using =, IN, >, < or STARTS WITH, it is still faster than not using an index in the first place.

Query
MATCH (person)-[r:KNOWS]->(friend) WHERE r.metIn ENDS WITH 'mo' RETURN person, friend
Query Plan
Compiler CYPHER 4.4

Planner COST

Runtime PIPELINED

Runtime version 4.4

+----------------------------------------+-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| Operator                               | Details                                                                             | Estimated Rows | Rows | DB Hits | Memory (Bytes) | Page Cache Hits/Misses | Time (ms) | Other               |
+----------------------------------------+-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| +ProduceResults                        | person, friend                                                                      |              0 |    1 |       0 |                |                        |           | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
| |                                      +-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+                        |           +---------------------+
| +DirectedRelationshipIndexEndsWithScan | BTREE INDEX (person)-[r:KNOWS(metIn)]->(friend) WHERE metIn ENDS WITH $autostring_0 |              0 |    1 |       3 |             72 |                    2/1 |     0.752 | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
+----------------------------------------+-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+

Total database accesses: 3, total allocated memory: 136

19. Suffix search using ENDS WITH (composite index)

The ENDS WITH predicate on r.metIn in the following query uses the KNOWS(metIn,lastMetIn) index, if it exists. However, it is rewritten as existence check and a filter due to the index not supporting actual suffix searches for composite indexes, this is still faster than not using an index in the first place. Any (non-existence check) predicate on KNOWS.lastMetIn is also rewritten as existence check with a filter. More information about how the rewriting works can be found in composite index limitations.

Query
MATCH (person)-[r:KNOWS]->(friend) WHERE r.metIn ENDS WITH 'mo' AND r.lastMetIn IS NOT NULL RETURN
  person,
  friend
Query Plan
Compiler CYPHER 4.4

Planner COST

Runtime PIPELINED

Runtime version 4.4

+--------------------------------+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| Operator                       | Details                                                                                             | Estimated Rows | Rows | DB Hits | Memory (Bytes) | Page Cache Hits/Misses | Time (ms) | Other               |
+--------------------------------+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| +ProduceResults                | person, friend                                                                                      |              0 |    1 |       0 |                |                        |           | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
| |                              +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+                        |           +---------------------+
| +Filter                        | cache[r.metIn] ENDS WITH $autostring_0                                                              |              0 |    1 |       0 |                |                        |           | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
| |                              +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+                        |           +---------------------+
| +DirectedRelationshipIndexScan | BTREE INDEX (person)-[r:KNOWS(metIn, lastMetIn)]->(friend) WHERE metIn IS NOT NULL AND lastMetIn IS |              1 |    1 |       3 |             72 |                    2/1 |     0.712 | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
|                                | NOT NULL, cache[r.metIn]                                                                            |                |      |         |                |                        |           |                     |
+--------------------------------+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+

Total database accesses: 3, total allocated memory: 136

20. Substring search using CONTAINS (single-property index)

The CONTAINS predicate on person.firstname in the following query will use the Person(firstname) index, if it exists. All values stored in the Person(firstname) index will be searched, and entries containing 'h' will be returned. This means that although the search will not be optimized to the extent of queries using =, IN, >, < or STARTS WITH, it is still faster than not using an index in the first place. Composite indexes are currently not able to support CONTAINS.

Query
MATCH (person:Person) WHERE person.firstname CONTAINS 'h' RETURN person
Query Plan
Compiler CYPHER 4.4

Planner COST

Runtime PIPELINED

Runtime version 4.4

+------------------------+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| Operator               | Details                                                                     | Estimated Rows | Rows | DB Hits | Memory (Bytes) | Page Cache Hits/Misses | Time (ms) | Other               |
+------------------------+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| +ProduceResults        | person                                                                      |              2 |    1 |       0 |                |                        |           | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
| |                      +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+                        |           +---------------------+
| +NodeIndexContainsScan | BTREE INDEX person:Person(firstname) WHERE firstname CONTAINS $autostring_0 |              2 |    1 |       2 |             72 |                    3/0 |     7.701 | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
+------------------------+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+

Total database accesses: 2, total allocated memory: 136

21. Substring search using CONTAINS (composite index)

The CONTAINS predicate on person.country in the following query will use the Person(country,age) index, if it exists. However, it will be rewritten as existence check and a filter due to the index not supporting actual suffix searches for composite indexes, this is still faster than not using an index in the first place. Any (non-existence check) predicate on person.age will also be rewritten as existence check with a filter. More information about how the rewriting works can be found in composite index limitations.

Query
MATCH (person:Person) WHERE person.country CONTAINS '300' AND person.age IS NOT NULL RETURN person
Query Plan
Compiler CYPHER 4.4

Planner COST

Runtime PIPELINED

Runtime version 4.4

+-----------------+------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| Operator        | Details                                                                                              | Estimated Rows | Rows | DB Hits | Memory (Bytes) | Page Cache Hits/Misses | Time (ms) | Other               |
+-----------------+------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| +ProduceResults | person                                                                                               |              2 |    1 |       0 |                |                        |           | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
| |               +------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+                        |           +---------------------+
| +Filter         | cache[person.country] CONTAINS $autostring_0                                                         |              2 |    1 |       0 |                |                        |           | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
| |               +------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+                        |           +---------------------+
| +NodeIndexScan  | BTREE INDEX person:Person(country, age) WHERE country IS NOT NULL AND age IS NOT NULL, cache[person. |            303 |  303 |     304 |             72 |                    5/0 |     4.396 | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
|                 | country]                                                                                             |                |      |         |                |                        |           |                     |
+-----------------+------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+

Total database accesses: 304, total allocated memory: 136

22. Existence check using IS NOT NULL (single-property index)

The r.since IS NOT NULL predicate in the following query uses the KNOWS(since) index, if it exists.

Query
MATCH (person)-[r:KNOWS]->(friend) WHERE r.since IS NOT NULL RETURN person, friend
Query Plan
Compiler CYPHER 4.4

Planner COST

Runtime PIPELINED

Runtime version 4.4

+--------------------------------+-------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| Operator                       | Details                                                                 | Estimated Rows | Rows | DB Hits | Memory (Bytes) | Page Cache Hits/Misses | Time (ms) | Other               |
+--------------------------------+-------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| +ProduceResults                | person, friend                                                          |              1 |    1 |       0 |                |                        |           | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
| |                              +-------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+                        |           +---------------------+
| +DirectedRelationshipIndexScan | BTREE INDEX (person)-[r:KNOWS(since)]->(friend) WHERE since IS NOT NULL |              1 |    1 |       3 |             72 |                    2/1 |     1.631 | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
+--------------------------------+-------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+

Total database accesses: 3, total allocated memory: 136

23. Existence check using IS NOT NULL (composite index)

The p.firstname IS NOT NULL and p.surname IS NOT NULL predicates in the following query will use the Person(firstname,surname) index, if it exists. Any (non-existence check) predicate on person.surname will be rewritten as existence check with a filter.

Query
MATCH (p:Person) WHERE p.firstname IS NOT NULL AND p.surname IS NOT NULL RETURN p
Query Plan
Compiler CYPHER 4.4

Planner COST

Runtime PIPELINED

Runtime version 4.4

+-----------------+----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| Operator        | Details                                                                                      | Estimated Rows | Rows | DB Hits | Memory (Bytes) | Page Cache Hits/Misses | Time (ms) | Other               |
+-----------------+----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| +ProduceResults | p                                                                                            |              1 |    2 |       0 |                |                        |           | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
| |               +----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+                        |           +---------------------+
| +NodeIndexScan  | BTREE INDEX p:Person(firstname, surname) WHERE firstname IS NOT NULL AND surname IS NOT NULL |              1 |    2 |       3 |             72 |                    2/1 |     1.181 | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
+-----------------+----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+

Total database accesses: 3, total allocated memory: 136

24. Spatial distance searches (single-property index)

If a property with point values is indexed, the index is used for spatial distance searches as well as for range queries.

Query
MATCH ()-[r:KNOWS]->() WHERE point.distance(r.lastMetPoint, point({x: 1,
  y: 2})) < 2 RETURN r.lastMetPoint
Query Plan
Compiler CYPHER 4.4

Planner COST

Runtime PIPELINED

Runtime version 4.4

+---------------------------------------+------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| Operator                              | Details                                                                                              | Estimated Rows | Rows | DB Hits | Memory (Bytes) | Page Cache Hits/Misses | Time (ms) | Other               |
+---------------------------------------+------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| +ProduceResults                       | `r.lastMetPoint`                                                                                     |             13 |    9 |       0 |                |                        |           | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
| |                                     +------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+                        |           +---------------------+
| +Projection                           | cache[r.lastMetPoint] AS `r.lastMetPoint`                                                            |             13 |    9 |       0 |                |                        |           | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
| |                                     +------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+                        |           +---------------------+
| +Filter                               | point.distance(cache[r.lastMetPoint], point({x: $autoint_0, y: $autoint_1})) < $autoint_2            |             13 |    9 |       0 |                |                        |           | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
| |                                     +------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+                        |           +---------------------+
| +DirectedRelationshipIndexSeekByRange | BTREE INDEX (anon_0)-[r:KNOWS(lastMetPoint)]->(anon_1) WHERE point.distance(lastMetPoint, point($aut |             13 |    9 |      19 |             72 |                    5/3 |     2.902 | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
|                                       | oint_0, $autoint_1)) < $autoint_2, cache[r.lastMetPoint]                                             |                |      |         |                |                        |           |                     |
+---------------------------------------+------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+

Total database accesses: 19, total allocated memory: 136

25. Spatial distance searches (composite index)

If a property with point values is indexed, the index is used for spatial distance searches as well as for range queries. Any following (non-existence check) predicates (here on property p.name for index :Person(place,name)) will be rewritten as existence check with a filter.

Query
MATCH (p:Person) WHERE point.distance(p.place, point({x: 1,
  y: 2})) < 2 AND p.name IS NOT NULL RETURN p.place
Query Plan
Compiler CYPHER 4.4

Planner COST

Runtime PIPELINED

Runtime version 4.4

+-----------------+------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| Operator        | Details                                                                                              | Estimated Rows | Rows | DB Hits | Memory (Bytes) | Page Cache Hits/Misses | Time (ms) | Other               |
+-----------------+------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| +ProduceResults | `p.place`                                                                                            |              0 |    9 |       0 |                |                        |           | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
| |               +------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+                        |           +---------------------+
| +Projection     | cache[p.place] AS `p.place`                                                                          |              0 |    9 |       0 |                |                        |           | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
| |               +------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+                        |           +---------------------+
| +Filter         | point.distance(cache[p.place], point({x: $autoint_0, y: $autoint_1})) < $autoint_2                   |              0 |    9 |       0 |                |                        |           | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
| |               +------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+                        |           +---------------------+
| +NodeIndexSeek  | BTREE INDEX p:Person(place, name) WHERE point.distance(place, point($autoint_0, $autoint_1)) < $auto |              0 |    9 |      10 |             72 |                    6/0 |     2.643 | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
|                 | int_2 AND name IS NOT NULL, cache[p.place]                                                           |                |      |         |                |                        |           |                     |
+-----------------+------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+

Total database accesses: 10, total allocated memory: 136

26. Spatial bounding box searches (single-property index)

The ability to do index seeks on bounded ranges works even with the 2D and 3D spatial Point types.

Query
MATCH (person:Person) WHERE point.withinBBox(person.location, point({x: 1.2, y: 5.4}), point({x: 1.3,
  y: 5.5})) RETURN person.firstname
Query Plan
Compiler CYPHER 4.4

Planner COST

Runtime PIPELINED

Runtime version 4.4

+-----------------------+------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| Operator              | Details                                                                                              | Estimated Rows | Rows | DB Hits | Memory (Bytes) | Page Cache Hits/Misses | Time (ms) | Other               |
+-----------------------+------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| +ProduceResults       | `person.firstname`                                                                                   |              0 |    1 |       0 |                |                        |           | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
| |                     +------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+                        |           +---------------------+
| +Projection           | person.firstname AS `person.firstname`                                                               |              0 |    1 |       2 |                |                        |           | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
| |                     +------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+                        |           +---------------------+
| +NodeIndexSeekByRange | BTREE INDEX person:Person(location) WHERE point.withinBBox(location, point($autodouble_0, $autodoubl |              0 |    1 |       2 |             72 |                    6/0 |    12.170 | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
|                       | e_1), point($autodouble_2, $autodouble_3))                                                           |                |      |         |                |                        |           |                     |
+-----------------------+------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+

Total database accesses: 4, total allocated memory: 136

27. Spatial bounding box searches (composite index)

The ability to do index seeks on bounded ranges works even with the 2D and 3D spatial Point types. Any following (non-existence check) predicates (here on property p.firstname for index :Person(place,firstname)) will be rewritten as existence check with a filter. For index :Person(firstname,place), if the predicate on firstname is equality or list membership then the bounded range is handled as a range itself. If the predicate on firstname is anything else then the bounded range is rewritten to existence and filter.

Query
MATCH (person:Person) WHERE point.withinBBox(person.place, point({x: 1.2, y: 5.4}), point({x: 1.3,
  y: 5.5})) AND person.firstname IS NOT NULL RETURN person
Query Plan
Compiler CYPHER 4.4

Planner COST

Runtime PIPELINED

Runtime version 4.4

+-----------------+------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| Operator        | Details                                                                                              | Estimated Rows | Rows | DB Hits | Memory (Bytes) | Page Cache Hits/Misses | Time (ms) | Other               |
+-----------------+------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+
| +ProduceResults | person                                                                                               |              1 |    1 |       0 |                |                        |           | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
| |               +------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+                        |           +---------------------+
| +NodeIndexSeek  | BTREE INDEX person:Person(place, firstname) WHERE point.withinBBox(place, point($autodouble_0, $auto |              1 |    1 |       2 |             72 |                    6/0 |     2.560 | Fused in Pipeline 0 |
|                 | double_1), point($autodouble_2, $autodouble_3)) AND firstname IS NOT NULL                            |                |      |         |                |                        |           |                     |
+-----------------+------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+----------------+------+---------+----------------+------------------------+-----------+---------------------+

Total database accesses: 2, total allocated memory: 136