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Kùzu Overview

Kùzu is an in-process property graph database management system (GDBMS) built for query speed and scalability. Kùzu is optimized for handling complex join-heavy analytical workloads on very large graph databases, with the following core feature set:

  • Flexible Property Graph Data Model and Cypher query language
  • Embeddable, serverless integration into applications
  • Columnar disk-based storage
  • Columnar sparse row-based (CSR) adjacency list/join indices
  • Vectorized and factorized query processor
  • Novel and very fast join algorithms
  • Multi-core query parallelism
  • Serializable ACID transactions

Kùzu is being actively developed at University of Waterloo as a feature-rich and usable GDBMS. Kùzu is available under a permissible license. So try it out and help us make it better! We welcome your feedback and feature requests!

Property Graph Data Model

Kùzu adopts the property graph data model adopted by other existing GDBMSs, such as Neo4j. In this model users model their databases as a set of labeled nodes and directed relationships, with properties on these nodes and edges. Different from existing GDMBSs, the properties on nodes and relationships in Kùzu are pre-defined in a schema. To support predefined properties, Kùzu extends Cypher with Data Description Language (DDL) clauses, such as CREATE NODE/REL TABLE” clauses, similar to how tables are defined in SQL. See the documentation here for how to use the DDL statements to define a graph schema and import data into Kùzu.

Cypher Query Language

Kùzu implements the openCypher version of the Cypher query language. Cypher is a SQL-like high-level language with several graph-specific constructs, such as pointed edges to represent joining nodes with their neighbor nodes, or the Kleene star (‘*’) syntax to find arbitrarily long connections between nodes (which correspond to variable-length joins between node records). Kùzu further extends the Cypher language with DDL statements to define a graph schema.

See the documentation here for the set of openCypher clauses Kùzu supports. Neo4j’s Cypher manual provides good documentation on the full language.

What Does “Kùzu” Mean?

Kù-zu (‘bright’ + ‘to know’) is a Sumerian—the oldest known human language—word for “wisdom”.