Demining the “Join Bomb” with graph queries

Demining the “Join Bomb” with graph queries by Rik Van Bruggen.

From the post:

For the past couple of months, and even more so since the beer post, people have been asking me a question that I have been struggling to answer myself for quite some time: what is so nice about the graphs? What can you do with a graph database that you could not, or only at great pains, do in a traditional relational database system. Conceptually, everyone understands that this is because of the inherent query power in a graph traversal – but how to make this tangible? How to show this to people in a real and straightforward way?

And then Facebook Graph Search came along, along with it’s many crazy search examples – and it sort of hit me: we need to illustrate this with *queries*. Queries that you would not – or only with a substantial amount of effort – be able to do in traditional database system – and that are trivial in a graph.

This is what I will be trying to do in this blog post, using an imaginary dataset that was inspired by the Telecommunications industry. You can download the dataset here, but really it is very simple: a number of “general” data elements (countries, languages, cities), a number of “customer” data elements (person, company) and a number of more telecom-related data elements (operators – I actually have the full list of all mobile operators in the countries in the dataset coming from here and here, phones and conference call service providers).

Great demonstration using simulated telecommunications data of the power of graph queries.

Highly recommended!

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