Note that this documentation is for the old 5.55 release.
For the newest documentation, please see the current release documentation.

Indexes and caching

The deduplication code and the viewer proxy both make use of an index generating system to generate Lucene indexes from the data in the archive. This system makes extensive use of caching to improve index generation performance. This section describes the default index generating system implemented as the IndexRequestClient plugin.

There are four parts involved in getting an index, each of them having their own cache. The first part resides on the client side, in the IndexRequestClient class, which caches unzipped Lucene indexes and makes them available for use. The IndexRequestClient receives its data from the CrawlLogIndexCache in the form of gzipped Lucene indexes. The CrawlLogIndexCache generates the Lucene indexes based on Heritrix crawl.log files and CDX files extracted from the (W)ARC files, and caches the generated indexes in gzipped form. The crawl.log files and CDX files are in turn received through two more caches, both of which extract their data directly from the archive using batch jobs and store them in sorted form in their own caches.

All four caches are based on the generic FileIndexCache class, which handles the necessary synchronization to ensure that not only separate threads but also separate processes can access the cache simultaneously without corrupting it. When a specific cache item is requested, the cache is first checked to see if it already exists. If it doesn't, a file indicating that work is being done is locked by the process. If this lock is acquired, the actual cache-filling operation can take place, otherwise another thread or process must be working on it already, and we can wait until it finishes and take its data.

The FileIndexCache class is generic on the type of the identifier that indicates which item to get. The higher-level caches (IndexRequestClient and CrawlLogIndexCache) use a Set<Long> type to allow indexes of multiple jobs based on their IDs. The two low-level caches just use a Long type, so they operate on just one job at a time.

The two caches that handle multiple job IDs as their cache item ID must handle a couple of special scenarios: Their cache item ID may consist of hundreds or thousands of job IDs, and part of the job data may be unavailable. To deal with the first problem, any cache item with more than four job IDs in the ID set is stored in a file whose name contains the four lowest-numbered IDs followed by an MD5 checksum of a concatenation of all the IDs in sorted order. This ensures uniqueness of the cache file without overflowing operating system limits.

Every subclass to FileBasedCache uses its own directory, where the cache files are placed. The name of the final cache file is uniquely created from the id-set, which should be made into an index. Since the synchronization is done on the complete path to the cache file, then it must require two instances of the same class (e.g. DedupCrawlLogIndexCache), which is attempting to make cache on the same id-set at the same time, for a synchronisation block to occur. In this case the cache file would anyway only be made once, since the waiting instance will use the same cache file created by the first instance.

A subclass of CombiningMultiFileBasedCache uses a corresponding subclass of RawMetadataCache to make sure that a cache file for every id exists (an id-cache file). If this file does not exist, then it will be created. Afterwards all the id-cache files will be combined to a complete file of the wanted id-set.

The id-cache files are blocked for other processes during their creation, but they are only created once since they can be used directly to create the Lucene cache for other id-sets, which contain this id.


The CrawlLogIndexCache guarantees that an index is always returned for a given request, regardless of whether part of the necessary data was available. This is done by performing a preparatory step where the data required to create the index is retrieved. If any of the data chunks are missing, a recursive attempt at generating an index for a reduced set is performed. Since the underlying data is always fetched from a cache, it is very likely that all the data for the reduced set is already available, so no further recursion is typically needed. The set of job IDs that was actually found is returned from the request to cache data, while the actual data is stored in a file whose name can be requested afterwards. Note that future requests for the full set of job IDs will cause a renewed attempt at downloading the underlying data, which may take a while, especially if the lack of data is caused by a time-out.

The CrawlLogIndexCache is the most complex of the caches, but its various responsibilities are spread out over several superclasses.

  • The top class is the generic FileBasedCache handles the locking necessary to have only one thread in one process at a time create the cached data. It also provides two helper methods: getIndex() is a forgiving cache lookup for complex cache items that handles the partial results described before, and the get(Set<I>) method allows for optimized caching of multiple simple cache requests.
  • The MultiFileBasedCache handles the naming of files for caches that use sets as cache item identifiers.
  • The CombiningMultiFileBasedCache extends the MultiFileBasedCache to have another, simpler cache as a data source, and providing an abstract method for combining the data from the underlying cache. It adds a step to the caching process of getting the underlying data, and only performs the combine action if all required data was found.
  • The CrawlLogIndexCache is a CombiningMultiFileBasedCache whose underlying data is crawl.log files, but adds a simple CDX cache to provide data not found in the crawl.log. It also implements the combine method by creating a Lucene index from the crawl.log and CDX files, using code from Kristinn Sigurðsson. The other subclass of CombiningMultiFileBasedCache, which provides combined CDX indexes, is not currently used in the system, but is available at the IndexRequestClient level.
  • The CrawlLogIndexCache is further subclasses into two flavors, FullCrawlLogIndexCache which is used in the viewer proxy, and DedupCrawlLogIndexCache which is used by the deduplicator in the harvester. The DedupCrawlLogIndexCache restricts the index to non-text files, while the FullCrawlLogIndexCache indexes all files.
    The two caches used by CrawlLogIndexCache are CDXDataCache and CrawlLogDataCache, both of which are simply instantiations of the RawMetadataCache. They both work by extracting records from the archived metadata files based on regular expressions, using batch jobs submitted through the ArcRepositoryClient. This is not the most efficient way of getting the data, as a batch job is submitted separately for getting the files for each job, but it is simple. It could be improved by overriding the get(Set<I>) method to collect all the data in one batch job, though some care has to be taken with synchronization and avoiding refetching unnecessary data.
  • No labels