5.1. Indexes

This section explains how to work with indexes in Neo4j and Cypher.

5.1.1. Managing Indexes

A database index is a redundant copy of some of the data in the database for the purpose of making searches of related data more efficient. This comes at the cost of additional storage space and slower writes, so deciding what to index and what not to index is an important and often non-trivial task.

Cypher enables the creation of indexes on one or more properties for all nodes that have a given label:

  • An index that is created on a single property for any given label is called a single-property index.
  • An index that is created on more than one property for any given label is called a composite index. Differences in the usage patterns between composite and single-property indexes are described in composite index limitations and shown in the examples below.

Once an index has been created, it will automatically be managed and kept up to date by the database when the graph is changed. Neo4j will automatically pick up and start using the index once it has been created and brought online.

Section 6.5, “Planner hints and the USING keyword” describes how to make the Cypher planner use specific indexes (especially in cases where the planner would not necessarily have used them).

Index configuration and limitations

For information on index configuration and limitations, refer to Operations Manual → Index configuration.

5.1.1.1. Composite index limitations

Unlike single-property indexes, composite indexes currently only support equality check: n.prop = value and list membership check: n.prop IN list. Queries containing the following types of predicates on properties in the index are not supported:

  • existence check: exists(n.prop)
  • range search: n.prop > value
  • prefix search: STARTS WITH
  • suffix search: ENDS WITH
  • substring search: CONTAINS

Composite indexes require predicates on all properties indexed. If there are predicates on only a subset of the indexed properties, it will not be possible to use the composite index. To get this kind of fallback behavior, it is necessary to create additional indexes on the relevant sub-set of properties or on single properties.

5.1.1.2. Create a single-property index

An index on a single property for all nodes that have a particular label can be created with CREATE INDEX ON :Label(property). Note that the index is not immediately available, but will be created in the background.

Query. 

CREATE INDEX ON :Person(firstname)

Result. 

+--------------------------------------------+
| No data returned, and nothing was changed. |
+--------------------------------------------+

5.1.1.3. Create a composite index

An index on multiple properties for all nodes that have a particular label — i.e. a composite index — can be created with CREATE INDEX ON :Label(prop1, …​, propN). Only nodes labeled with the specified label and which contain all the properties in the index definition will be added to the index. The following statement will create a composite index on all nodes labeled with Person and which have both an age and country property:

Query. 

CREATE INDEX ON :Person(age, country)

Assume we execute the query CREATE (a:Person {firstname: 'Bill', age: 34, country: 'USA'}), (b:Person {firstname: 'Sue', age: 39}). Node a has both an age and a country property, and so it will be added to the composite index. However, as node b has no country property, it will not be added to the composite index. Note that the composite index is not immediately available, but will be created in the background.

Result. 

+-------------------+
| No data returned. |
+-------------------+
Indexes added: 1

5.1.1.4. Get a list of all indexes in the database

Calling the built-in procedure db.indexes will list all the indexes in the database.

Query. 

CALL db.indexes

Result. 

+----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| description                   | indexName       | tokenNames | properties    | state    | type                  | progress | provider                                  | id | failureMessage |
+----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| "INDEX ON :Person(firstname)" | "Unnamed index" | ["Person"] | ["firstname"] | "ONLINE" | "node_label_property" | 100.0    | {version -> "1.0", key -> "native-btree"} | 1  | ""             |
| "INDEX ON :Person(highScore)" | "Unnamed index" | ["Person"] | ["highScore"] | "ONLINE" | "node_label_property" | 100.0    | {version -> "1.0", key -> "native-btree"} | 5  | ""             |
| "INDEX ON :Person(location)"  | "Unnamed index" | ["Person"] | ["location"]  | "ONLINE" | "node_label_property" | 100.0    | {version -> "1.0", key -> "native-btree"} | 3  | ""             |
+----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
3 rows

5.1.1.5. Drop a single-property index

An index on all nodes that have a label and single property combination can be dropped with DROP INDEX ON :Label(property).

Query. 

DROP INDEX ON :Person(firstname)

Result. 

+-------------------+
| No data returned. |
+-------------------+
Indexes removed: 1

5.1.1.6. Drop a composite index

A composite index on all nodes that have a label and multiple property combination can be dropped with DROP INDEX ON :Label(prop1, …​, propN). The following statement will drop a composite index on all nodes labeled with Person and which have both an age and country property:

Query. 

DROP INDEX ON :Person(age, country)

Result. 

+-------------------+
| No data returned. |
+-------------------+
Indexes removed: 1

5.1.2. Using indexes

There is usually no need to specify which indexes to use in a query, Cypher will figure that out by itself. For example the query below will use the Person(firstname) index, if it exists.

Query. 

MATCH (person:Person { firstname: 'Andy' })
RETURN person

Query Plan. 

Compiler CYPHER 3.5

Planner COST

Runtime INTERPRETED

Runtime version 3.5

+-----------------+----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+----------------------+-----------+--------------------+
| Operator        | Estimated Rows | Rows | DB Hits | Page Cache Hits | Page Cache Misses | Page Cache Hit Ratio | Order                | Variables | Other              |
+-----------------+----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+----------------------+-----------+--------------------+
| +ProduceResults |              1 |    1 |       0 |               2 |                 1 |               0.6667 | person.firstname ASC | person    |                    |
| |               +----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+----------------------+-----------+--------------------+
| +NodeIndexSeek  |              1 |    1 |       3 |               2 |                 1 |               0.6667 | person.firstname ASC | person    | :Person(firstname) |
+-----------------+----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+----------------------+-----------+--------------------+

Total database accesses: 3

5.1.2.1. 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 3.5

Planner COST

Runtime INTERPRETED

Runtime version 3.5

+-----------------+----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+----------------------+-----------+--------------------+
| Operator        | Estimated Rows | Rows | DB Hits | Page Cache Hits | Page Cache Misses | Page Cache Hit Ratio | Order                | Variables | Other              |
+-----------------+----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+----------------------+-----------+--------------------+
| +ProduceResults |              1 |    1 |       0 |               2 |                 1 |               0.6667 | person.firstname ASC | person    |                    |
| |               +----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+----------------------+-----------+--------------------+
| +NodeIndexSeek  |              1 |    1 |       3 |               2 |                 1 |               0.6667 | person.firstname ASC | person    | :Person(firstname) |
+-----------------+----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+----------------------+-----------+--------------------+

Total database accesses: 3

5.1.2.2. 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. 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 an equality 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.

Result. 

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

5.1.2.3. 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. Composite indexes are currently not able to support range comparisons.

Query. 

MATCH (person:Person)
WHERE person.firstname > 'B'
RETURN person

Query Plan. 

Compiler CYPHER 3.5

Planner COST

Runtime INTERPRETED

Runtime version 3.5

+-----------------------+----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+----------------------+-----------+--------------------------------------+
| Operator              | Estimated Rows | Rows | DB Hits | Page Cache Hits | Page Cache Misses | Page Cache Hit Ratio | Order                | Variables | Other                                |
+-----------------------+----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+----------------------+-----------+--------------------------------------+
| +ProduceResults       |              0 |    1 |       0 |               2 |                 1 |               0.6667 | person.firstname ASC | person    |                                      |
| |                     +----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+----------------------+-----------+--------------------------------------+
| +NodeIndexSeekByRange |              0 |    1 |       3 |               2 |                 1 |               0.6667 | person.firstname ASC | person    | :Person(firstname) > {  AUTOSTRING0} |
+-----------------------+----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+----------------------+-----------+--------------------------------------+

Total database accesses: 3

5.1.2.4. 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 3.5

Planner COST

Runtime INTERPRETED

Runtime version 3.5

+-----------------------+----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+----------------------+-----------+-------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| Operator              | Estimated Rows | Rows | DB Hits | Page Cache Hits | Page Cache Misses | Page Cache Hit Ratio | Order                | Variables | Other                                                                   |
+-----------------------+----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+----------------------+-----------+-------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| +ProduceResults       |              0 |    1 |       0 |               2 |                 1 |               0.6667 | person.highScore ASC | person    |                                                                         |
| |                     +----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+----------------------+-----------+-------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| +NodeIndexSeekByRange |              0 |    1 |       3 |               2 |                 1 |               0.6667 | person.highScore ASC | person    | :Person(highScore) > {  AUTOINT1} AND :Person(highScore) < {  AUTOINT0} |
+-----------------------+----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+----------------------+-----------+-------------------------------------------------------------------------+

Total database accesses: 3

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

The IN predicate on person.firstname in the following query will use the single-property index Person(firstname) if it exists.

Query. 

MATCH (person:Person)
WHERE person.firstname IN ['Andy', 'John']
RETURN person

Query Plan. 

Compiler CYPHER 3.5

Planner COST

Runtime INTERPRETED

Runtime version 3.5

+-----------------+----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+-----------+--------------------+
| Operator        | Estimated Rows | Rows | DB Hits | Page Cache Hits | Page Cache Misses | Page Cache Hit Ratio | Variables | Other              |
+-----------------+----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+-----------+--------------------+
| +ProduceResults |             24 |    2 |       0 |               4 |                 2 |               0.6667 | person    |                    |
| |               +----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+-----------+--------------------+
| +NodeIndexSeek  |             24 |    2 |       5 |               4 |                 2 |               0.6667 | person    | :Person(firstname) |
+-----------------+----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+-----------+--------------------+

Total database accesses: 5

5.1.2.6. List membership check using IN (composite index)

The IN predicates on person.age and person.country in the following query will use the composite index Person(age, country) if it exists.

Query. 

MATCH (person:Person)
WHERE person.age IN [10, 20, 35] AND person.country IN ['Sweden', 'USA', 'UK']
RETURN person

Query Plan. 

Compiler CYPHER 3.5

Planner COST

Runtime INTERPRETED

Runtime version 3.5

+-----------------+----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+-----------+----------------------+
| Operator        | Estimated Rows | Rows | DB Hits | Page Cache Hits | Page Cache Misses | Page Cache Hit Ratio | Variables | Other                |
+-----------------+----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+-----------+----------------------+
| +ProduceResults |            451 |    1 |       0 |              18 |                 2 |               0.9000 | person    |                      |
| |               +----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+-----------+----------------------+
| +NodeIndexSeek  |            451 |    1 |      11 |              18 |                 2 |               0.9000 | person    | :Person(age,country) |
+-----------------+----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+-----------+----------------------+

Total database accesses: 11

5.1.2.7. 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. Composite indexes are currently not able to support STARTS WITH.

Query. 

MATCH (person:Person)
WHERE person.firstname STARTS WITH 'And'
RETURN person

Query Plan. 

Compiler CYPHER 3.5

Planner COST

Runtime INTERPRETED

Runtime version 3.5

+-----------------------+----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+----------------------+-----------+-------------------------------------------------+
| Operator              | Estimated Rows | Rows | DB Hits | Page Cache Hits | Page Cache Misses | Page Cache Hit Ratio | Order                | Variables | Other                                           |
+-----------------------+----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+----------------------+-----------+-------------------------------------------------+
| +ProduceResults       |              2 |    1 |       0 |               3 |                 0 |               1.0000 | person.firstname ASC | person    |                                                 |
| |                     +----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+----------------------+-----------+-------------------------------------------------+
| +NodeIndexSeekByRange |              2 |    1 |       3 |               3 |                 0 |               1.0000 | person.firstname ASC | person    | :Person(firstname STARTS WITH $`  AUTOSTRING0`) |
+-----------------------+----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+----------------------+-----------+-------------------------------------------------+

Total database accesses: 3

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

The ENDS WITH 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 ending with 'hn' 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 ENDS WITH.

Query. 

MATCH (person:Person)
WHERE person.firstname ENDS WITH 'hn'
RETURN person

Query Plan. 

Compiler CYPHER 3.5

Planner COST

Runtime INTERPRETED

Runtime version 3.5

+------------------------+----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+----------------------+-----------+--------------------------------------+
| Operator               | Estimated Rows | Rows | DB Hits | Page Cache Hits | Page Cache Misses | Page Cache Hit Ratio | Order                | Variables | Other                                |
+------------------------+----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+----------------------+-----------+--------------------------------------+
| +ProduceResults        |              2 |    1 |       0 |               2 |                 0 |               1.0000 | person.firstname ASC | person    |                                      |
| |                      +----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+----------------------+-----------+--------------------------------------+
| +NodeIndexEndsWithScan |              2 |    1 |       3 |               3 |                 0 |               1.0000 | person.firstname ASC | person    | :Person(firstname); $`  AUTOSTRING0` |
+------------------------+----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+----------------------+-----------+--------------------------------------+

Total database accesses: 3

5.1.2.9. 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 3.5

Planner COST

Runtime INTERPRETED

Runtime version 3.5

+------------------------+----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+----------------------+-----------+--------------------------------------+
| Operator               | Estimated Rows | Rows | DB Hits | Page Cache Hits | Page Cache Misses | Page Cache Hit Ratio | Order                | Variables | Other                                |
+------------------------+----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+----------------------+-----------+--------------------------------------+
| +ProduceResults        |              2 |    1 |       0 |               2 |                 0 |               1.0000 | person.firstname ASC | person    |                                      |
| |                      +----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+----------------------+-----------+--------------------------------------+
| +NodeIndexContainsScan |              2 |    1 |       3 |               3 |                 0 |               1.0000 | person.firstname ASC | person    | :Person(firstname); $`  AUTOSTRING0` |
+------------------------+----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+----------------------+-----------+--------------------------------------+

Total database accesses: 3

5.1.2.10. Existence check using exists (single-property index)

The exists(p.firstname) predicate in the following query will use the Person(firstname) index, if it exists. Composite indexes are currently not able to support the exists predicate.

Query. 

MATCH (p:Person)
WHERE exists(p.firstname)
RETURN p

Query Plan. 

Compiler CYPHER 3.5

Planner COST

Runtime INTERPRETED

Runtime version 3.5

+-----------------+----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+-----------+--------------------+
| Operator        | Estimated Rows | Rows | DB Hits | Page Cache Hits | Page Cache Misses | Page Cache Hit Ratio | Variables | Other              |
+-----------------+----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+-----------+--------------------+
| +ProduceResults |              2 |    2 |       0 |               2 |                 0 |               1.0000 | p         |                    |
| |               +----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+-----------+--------------------+
| +NodeIndexScan  |              2 |    2 |       4 |               2 |                 1 |               0.6667 | p         | :Person(firstname) |
+-----------------+----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+-----------+--------------------+

Total database accesses: 4

5.1.2.11. 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 (p:Person)
WHERE distance(p.location, point({ x: 1, y: 2 }))< 2
RETURN p.location

Query Plan. 

Compiler CYPHER 3.5

Planner COST

Runtime INTERPRETED

Runtime version 3.5

+-----------------------+----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+-----------------------+-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| Operator              | Estimated Rows | Rows | DB Hits | Page Cache Hits | Page Cache Misses | Page Cache Hit Ratio | Variables             | Other                                                                                     |
+-----------------------+----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+-----------------------+-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| +ProduceResults       |              0 |    9 |       0 |               6 |                 0 |               1.0000 | p, p.location         |                                                                                           |
| |                     +----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+-----------------------+-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| +Projection           |              0 |    9 |       0 |               6 |                 0 |               1.0000 | p.location -- p       | {p.location : cached[p.location]}                                                         |
| |                     +----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+-----------------------+-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| +Filter               |              0 |    9 |       0 |               6 |                 0 |               1.0000 | cached[p.location], p | distance(cached[p.location], point({x: $`  AUTOINT0`, y: $`  AUTOINT1`})) < $`  AUTOINT2` |
| |                     +----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+-----------------------+-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| +NodeIndexSeekByRange |              0 |    9 |      11 |               6 |                 0 |               1.0000 | cached[p.location], p | :Person(location) WHERE distance(_,point(x,y)) < Parameter(  AUTOINT2,Integer)            |
+-----------------------+----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+-----------------------+-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+

Total database accesses: 11

5.1.2.12. 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({ x: 1, y: 5 })< person.location < point({ x: 2, y: 6 })
RETURN person

Query Plan. 

Compiler CYPHER 3.5

Planner COST

Runtime INTERPRETED

Runtime version 3.5

+-----------------------+----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+-----------+---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| Operator              | Estimated Rows | Rows | DB Hits | Page Cache Hits | Page Cache Misses | Page Cache Hit Ratio | Variables | Other                                                                                                                           |
+-----------------------+----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+-----------+---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| +ProduceResults       |              0 |    1 |       0 |               8 |                 0 |               1.0000 | person    |                                                                                                                                 |
| |                     +----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+-----------+---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| +NodeIndexSeekByRange |              0 |    1 |       3 |               8 |                 0 |               1.0000 | person    | :Person(location) > point({x: {  AUTOINT2}, y: {  AUTOINT3}}) AND :Person(location) < point({x: {  AUTOINT0}, y: {  AUTOINT1}}) |
+-----------------------+----------------+------+---------+-----------------+-------------------+----------------------+-----------+---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+

Total database accesses: 3

5.1.3. Fulltext schema index

This section describes how to use fulltext schema indexes, to enable fulltext search.

5.1.3.1. Introduction

Fulltext schema indexes are powered by the Apache Lucene indexing and search library, and can be used to index nodes and relationships by string properties. A fulltext schema index allows you to write queries that match within the contents of indexed string properties. For instance, the regular schema indexes described in previous sections can only do exact matching or prefix matches on strings. A fulltext index will instead tokenize the indexed string values, so it can match terms anywhere within the strings. How the indexed strings are tokenized and broken into terms, is determined by what analyzer the fulltext schema index is configured with. For instance, the swedish analyzer knows how to tokenize and stem Swedish words, and will avoid indexing Swedish stop words.

Fulltext schema indexes:

  • support the indexing of both nodes and relationships.
  • support configuring custom analyzers, including analyzers that are not included with Lucene itself.
  • can be queried using the Lucene query language.
  • can return the score for each result from a query.
  • are kept up to date automatically, as nodes and relationships are added, removed, and modified.
  • will automatically populate newly created indexes with the existing data in a store.
  • can be checked by the consistency checker, and they can be rebuilt if there is a problem with them.
  • are a projection of the store, and can only index nodes and relationships by the contents of their properties.
  • can support any number of documents in a single index.
  • are created, dropped, and updated transactionally, and is automatically replicated throughout a cluster.
  • can be accessed via Cypher procedures.
  • can be configured to be eventually consistent, in which index updating is moved from the commit path to a background thread. Using this feature, it is possible to work around the slow Lucene writes from the performance critical commit process, thus removing the main bottlenecks for Neo4j write performance.

For information on how to configure fulltext schema indexes, refer to Operations Manual → Fulltext schema indexes.

Fulltext schema indexes replace the explicit indexes, which are deprecated and will be discontinued in the next major release. It is therefore recommended migrate to fulltext schema indexes. A full description of the differences between fulltext schema indexes and explicit indexes is available in Operations Manual → Deprecation of explicit indexes.

5.1.3.2. Create and configure fulltext schema indexes

Fulltext schema indexes are created with the db.index.fulltext.createNodeIndex and db.index.fulltext.createRelationshipIndex. The indexes must each be given a unique name when created, which is used to reference the specific index in question, when querying or dropping an index. A fulltext schema index then applies to a list of labels or a list of relationship types, for node and relationship indexes respectively, and then a list of property names.

An index that applies to more than one label, or more than one relationship type, is called a multi-token index. Multi-token indexes can also apply to more than one property at a time, like a composite index can, but with an important difference. A composite index applies only to entities that match the indexed label and all of the indexed properties. A multi-token index, on the other hand, will index entities that have at least one of the indexed labels or relationship types, and any of the indexed properties.

For instance, if we have a movie with a title.

Query. 

CREATE (m:Movie { title: "The Matrix" })
RETURN m.title

Table 5.1. Result
m.title

1 row Nodes created: 1 Properties set: 1 Labels added: 1

"The Matrix"

And we have a fulltext schema index on the title and description properties of movies and books.

Query. 

CALL db.index.fulltext.createNodeIndex("titlesAndDescriptions",["Movie", "Book"],["title", "description"])

Then our movie node from above will be included in the index, even though it only have one of the indexed labels, and only one of the indexed properties:

Query. 

CALL db.index.fulltext.queryNodes("titlesAndDescriptions", "matrix") YIELD node, score
RETURN node.title, node.description, score

Table 5.2. Result
node.title node.description score

1 row

"The Matrix"

<null>

1.261009693145752

The same is true for fulltext schema indexes on relationships. Though a relationship can only have one type, a relationship fulltext schema index can index multiple types, and all relationships will be included that match one of the relationship types, and at least one of the indexed properties.

The db.index.fulltext.createNodeIndex and db.index.fulltext.createRelationshipIndex takes an optional fourth argument, called config. The config parameter is a map from string to string, and can be used to set index-specific configuration settings. The analyzer setting can be used to configure an index-specific analyzer. The possible values for the analyzer setting can be listed with the db.index.fulltext.listAvailableAnalyzers procedure. The eventually_consistent setting, if set to "true", will put the index in an eventually consistent update mode. this means that updates will be applied in a background thread "as soon as possible", instead of during transaction commit like other indexes.

Using index-specific settings via the config parameter is experimental, because these settings currently do not get replicated in a clustered environment. See the Fulltext Schema Indexes section of the Operations Manual, for how to configure the default fulltext index configurations in neo4j.conf.

Query. 

CALL db.index.fulltext.createRelationshipIndex("taggedByRelationshipIndex",["TAGGED_AS"],["taggedByUser"], { analyzer: "url_or_email", eventually_consistent: "true" })

In this example, an eventually consistent relationship fulltext schema index is created for the TAGGED_AS relationship type, and the taggedByUser property, and the index uses the url_or_email analyzer. This could, for instance, be a system where people are assigning tags to documents, and where the index on the taggedByUser property will allow them to quickly find all of the documents they have tagged. Had it not been for the relationship index, one would have had to add artificial connective nodes between the tags and the documents in the data model, just so these nodes could be indexed.

Table 5.3. Result

0 rows

(empty result)

5.1.3.3. Query fulltext schema indexes

Fulltext indexes will, in addition to any exact matches, also return approximate matches to a given query. Both the property values that are indexed, and the queries to the index, are processed through the analyzer such that the index can find that don’t exactly matches. The score that is returned alongside each result entry, represents how well the index thinks that entry matches the given query. The results are always returned in descending score order, where the best matching result entry is put first. To illustrate, in the example below, we search our movie database for "Full Metal Jacket", and even though there is an exact match as the first result, we also get three other less interesting results:

Query. 

CALL db.index.fulltext.queryNodes("titlesAndDescriptions", "Full Metal Jacket") YIELD node, score
RETURN node.title, score

Table 5.4. Result
node.title score

4 rows

"Full Metal Jacket"

0.8093575239181519

"The Jacket"

0.1152719184756279

"Full Moon High"

0.0836455449461937

"Yellow Jacket"

0.07204495370388031

The fulltext schema indexes uses Lucene under the hood. This means that we can use Lucene’s fulltext query language to express what we wish to search for. For instance, if we are only interested in exact matches, then we can quote the string we are searching for.

Query. 

CALL db.index.fulltext.queryNodes("titlesAndDescriptions", "\"Full Metal Jacket\"") YIELD node, score
RETURN node.title, score

When we put "Full Metal Jacket" in quotes, Lucene only gives us exact matches.

Table 5.5. Result
node.title score

1 row

"Full Metal Jacket"

1.3701786994934082

Lucene also allows us to use logical operators, such as AND and OR, to search for terms:

Query. 

CALL db.index.fulltext.queryNodes("titlesAndDescriptions", 'full AND metal') YIELD node, score
RETURN node.title, score

Only the "Full Metal Jacket" movie in our database has both the words "full" and "metal".

Table 5.6. Result
node.title score

1 row

"Full Metal Jacket"

0.7603841423988342

It is also possible to search for only specific properties, by putting the property name and a colon in front of the text being searched for.

Query. 

CALL db.index.fulltext.queryNodes("titlesAndDescriptions", 'description:"surreal adventure"') YIELD node, score
RETURN node.title, node.description, score

Table 5.7. Result
node.title node.description score

1 row

"Metallica Through The Never"

"The movie follows the young roadie Trip through his surreal adventure with the band."

1.311632513999939

A complete description of the Lucene query syntax can be found in the Lucene documentation.

5.1.4. Manage and use explicit indexes

Explicit indexes are alternative data structures, in which a user can explicitly maintain search and seek data for nodes and relationships. These data structures are special-purpose and the procedures are primarily provided for users who have legacy deployments depending on such structures.

The explicit indexing features in Neo4j are deprecated for removal in the next major release. Consider using schema indexes, or the fulltext schema indexes, instead.

Signature Description

db.index.explicit.addNode

Add a node to an explicit index based on a specified key and value

db.index.explicit.addRelationship

Add a relationship to an explicit index based on a specified key and value

db.index.explicit.auto.searchNodes

Search nodes from explicit automatic index. Replaces START n=node:node_auto_index('key:foo*')

db.index.explicit.auto.searchRelationships

Search relationship from explicit automatic index. Replaces START r=relationship:relationship_auto_index('key:foo*')

db.index.explicit.auto.seekNodes

Get node from explicit automatic index. Replaces START n=node:node_auto_index(key = 'A')

db.index.explicit.auto.seekRelationships

Get relationship from explicit automatic index. Replaces START r=relationship:relationship_auto_index(key = 'A')

db.index.explicit.drop

Remove an explicit index - YIELD type, name, config

db.index.explicit.existsForNodes

Check if a node explicit index exists

db.index.explicit.existsForRelationships

Check if a relationship explicit index exists

db.index.explicit.forNodes

Get or create a node explicit index - YIELD type, name, config

db.index.explicit.forRelationships

Get or create a relationship explicit index - YIELD type, name, config

db.index.explicit.list

List all explicit indexes - YIELD type, name, config

db.index.explicit.removeNode(indexName

Remove a node from an explicit index with an optional key

db.index.explicit.removeRelationship

Remove a relationship from an explicit index with an optional key

db.index.explicit.searchNodes

Search nodes from explicit index. Replaces START n=node:nodes('key:foo*')

db.index.explicit.searchRelationships

Search relationship from explicit index. Replaces START r=relationship:relIndex('key:foo*')

db.index.explicit.searchRelationshipsBetween

Search relationship in explicit index, starting at the node 'in' and ending at 'out'

db.index.explicit.searchRelationshipsIn

Search relationship in explicit index, starting at the node 'in'

db.index.explicit.searchRelationshipsOut

Search relationship in explicit index, ending at the node 'out'

db.index.explicit.seekNodes

Get node from explicit index. Replaces START n=node:nodes(key = 'A')

db.index.explicit.seekRelationships

Get relationship from explicit index. Replaces START r=relationship:relIndex(key = 'A')

Table 5.8. db.index.explicit.addNode
Signature Description

db.index.explicit.addNode(indexName :: STRING?, node :: NODE?, key :: STRING?, value :: ANY?) :: (success :: BOOLEAN?)

Add a node to an explicit index based on a specified key and value

Table 5.9. db.index.explicit.addRelationship
Signature Description

db.index.explicit.addRelationship(indexName :: STRING?, relationship :: RELATIONSHIP?, key :: STRING?, value :: ANY?) :: (success :: BOOLEAN?)

Add a relationship to an explicit index based on a specified key and value

Table 5.10. db.index.explicit.auto.searchNodes
Signature Description

db.index.explicit.auto.searchNodes(query :: ANY?) :: (node :: NODE?, weight :: FLOAT?)

Search nodes from explicit automatic index. Replaces START n=node:node_auto_index('key:foo*')

Table 5.11. db.index.explicit.auto.searchRelationships
Signature Description

db.index.explicit.auto.searchRelationships(query :: ANY?) :: (relationship :: RELATIONSHIP?, weight :: FLOAT?)

Search relationship from explicit automatic index. Replaces START r=relationship:relationship_auto_index('key:foo*')

Table 5.12. db.index.explicit.auto.seekNodes
Signature Description

db.index.explicit.auto.seekNodes(key :: STRING?, value :: ANY?) :: (node :: NODE?)

Get node from explicit automatic index. Replaces START n=node:node_auto_index(key = 'A')

Table 5.13. db.index.explicit.auto.seekRelationships
Signature Description

db.index.explicit.auto.seekRelationships(key :: STRING?, value :: ANY?) :: (relationship :: RELATIONSHIP?)

Get relationship from explicit automatic index. Replaces START r=relationship:relationship_auto_index(key = 'A')

Table 5.14. db.index.explicit.drop
Signature Description

db.index.explicit.drop(indexName :: STRING?) :: (type :: STRING?, name :: STRING?, config :: MAP?)

Remove an explicit index - YIELD type, name, config

Table 5.15. db.index.explicit.existsForNodes
Signature Description

db.index.explicit.existsForNodes(indexName :: STRING?) :: (success :: BOOLEAN?)

Check if a node explicit index exists

Table 5.16. db.index.explicit.existsForRelationships
Signature Description

db.index.explicit.existsForRelationships(indexName :: STRING?) :: (success :: BOOLEAN?)

Check if a relationship explicit index exists

Table 5.17. db.index.explicit.forNodes
Signature Description

db.index.explicit.forNodes(indexName :: STRING?) :: (type :: STRING?, name :: STRING?, config :: MAP?)

Get or create a node explicit index - YIELD type, name, config

Table 5.18. db.index.explicit.forRelationships
Signature Description

db.index.explicit.forRelationships(indexName :: STRING?) :: (type :: STRING?, name :: STRING?, config :: MAP?)

Get or create a relationship explicit index - YIELD type, name, config

Table 5.19. db.index.explicit.list
Signature Description

db.index.explicit.list() :: (type :: STRING?, name :: STRING?, config :: MAP?)

List all explicit indexes - YIELD type, name, config

Table 5.20. db.index.explicit.removeNode
Signature Description

db.index.explicit.removeNode(indexName :: STRING?, node :: NODE?, key :: STRING?) :: (success :: BOOLEAN?)

Remove a node from an explicit index with an optional key

Table 5.21. db.index.explicit.removeRelationship
Signature Description

db.index.explicit.removeRelationship(indexName :: STRING?, relationship :: RELATIONSHIP?, key :: STRING?) :: (success :: BOOLEAN?)

Remove a relationship from an explicit index with an optional key

Table 5.22. db.index.explicit.searchNodes
Signature Description

db.index.explicit.searchNodes(indexName :: STRING?, query :: ANY?) :: (node :: NODE?, weight :: FLOAT?)

Search nodes from explicit index. Replaces START n=node:nodes('key:foo*')

Table 5.23. db.index.explicit.searchRelationships
Signature Description

db.index.explicit.searchRelationships(indexName :: STRING?, query :: ANY?) :: (relationship :: RELATIONSHIP?, weight :: FLOAT?)

Search relationship from explicit index. Replaces START r=relationship:relIndex('key:foo*')

Table 5.24. db.index.explicit.searchRelationshipsBetween
Signature Description

db.index.explicit.searchRelationshipsBetween(indexName :: STRING?, in :: NODE?, out :: NODE?, query :: ANY?) :: (relationship :: RELATIONSHIP?, weight :: FLOAT?)

Search relationship in explicit index, starting at the node 'in' and ending at 'out'

Table 5.25. db.index.explicit.searchRelationshipsIn
Signature Description

db.index.explicit.searchRelationshipsIn(indexName :: STRING?, in :: NODE?, query :: ANY?) :: (relationship :: RELATIONSHIP?, weight :: FLOAT?)

Search relationship in explicit index, starting at the node 'in'

Table 5.26. db.index.explicit.searchRelationshipsOut
Signature Description

db.index.explicit.searchRelationshipsOut(indexName :: STRING?, out :: NODE?, query :: ANY?) :: (relationship :: RELATIONSHIP?, weight :: FLOAT?)

Search relationship in explicit index, ending at the node 'out'

Table 5.27. db.index.explicit.seekNodes
Signature Description

db.index.explicit.seekNodes(indexName :: STRING?, key :: STRING?, value :: ANY?) :: (node :: NODE?)

Get node from explicit index. Replaces START n=node:nodes(key = 'A')

Table 5.28. db.index.explicit.seekRelationships
Signature Description

db.index.explicit.seekRelationships(indexName :: STRING?, key :: STRING?, value :: ANY?) :: (relationship :: RELATIONSHIP?)

Get relationship from explicit index. Replaces START r=relationship:relIndex(key = 'A')