Kùzu 0.0.3 Release

Kùzu Team
Kùzu Team
Developers of Kùzu Inc.

We are happy to release Kùzu 0.0.3 today. This release comes with the following new main features and improvements:

For installing the new version, please visit the download section of our website and getting started guide and the full release notes are here. Please visit the Colab Notebooks section of our documentation website to play with our Colab notebooks.

Enjoy! Please give us a try, a Github ⭐ and your feedback and feature requests! Also follow us on Twitter!

Kùzu as a PyG Remote Backend

Kùzu now implements PyG’s Remote Backend interface. So you can directly train GNNs using Kùzu as your backend storage. Quoting the PyG documentation’s description of the Remote Backend feature:

…[this feature enables] users to train GNNs on graphs far larger than the size of their machine’s available memory. It does so by introducing simple, easy-to-use, and extensible abstractions of a torch_geometric.data.FeatureStore and a torch_geometric.data.GraphStore that plug directly into existing familiar PyG interfaces.

With our current release, once you store your graph and features in Kùzu, PyG’s samplers work seamlessly using Kùzu’s implementation of FeatureStore and GraphStore interfaces. For example, this enables your existing GNN models to work seamlessly by fetching both subgraph samples and node features from Kùzu instead of PyG’s in-memory storage. Therefore you can train graphs that do not fit into your memory since Kùzu, as a DBMS, stores its data on disk. Try this demonstrative Colab notebook to see an example of how to do this. The current release comes with a limitation that we only truly implement the FeatureStore interface. Inside GraphStore we still store the graph topology in memory. So in reality only the features are stored and scanned from disk. We plan to address this limitation later on.

Here is also a demonstrative experiment (but certainly not comprehensive study) for the type of training performance vs memory usage tradeoff you can expect. We trained a simple 3-layers Graph Convolutional Network (GCN) model on ogbn-papers100M dataset, which contains about 111 million nodes with 128 dimensional node features and about 1.6 billion edges. Storing the graph topology takes around 48GB1 and the features takes 53 GBs. Given our current limitation, we can reduce 53 GB to something much smaller (we will limit it to as low as 10GB). We used a machine with one RTX 4090 GPU with 24 GB of memory, two Xeon Platinum 8175M CPUs, and 384 GB RAM, which is enough for PyG’s in-memory store to store the entire graph and all features in memory.

During training, we use the NeighborLoader of PyG with batch size of 48000 and sets the num_neighbors to [30] * 2, which means at each batch roughly 60 neighbor nodes of 48000 nodes will be sampled from the GraphStore and the features of those nodes will be scanned from Kùzu’s storage. We picked this sample size because this gives us a peak GPU memory usage of approximately 22 GB, i.e., we can saturate the GPU memory. We used 16 cores2 during the sampling process. We run each experiment in a Docker instance and limit the memory systematically from 110GB, which is enough for PyG to run completely in memory, down to 90, 70, and 60GB. At each memory level we run the same experiment by using Kùzu as a Remote Backend, where we have to use about 48GB to store the topology and give the remaining memory to Kùzu’s buffer manager. For example when the memory is 60GB, we can only give ~10GB to Kùzu.

ConfigurationEnd to End Time (s)Per Batch Time (s)Time Spent on Training (s)Time Spent on Copying to GPU (s)Docker Memory
PyG In-memory140.171.46.6231.25110 GB
Kùzu Remote Backend (bm=60GB)392.63.936.2934.18110 GB
Kùzu Remote Backend (bm=40GB)589.05.896.832.690 GB
Kùzu Remote Backend (bm=20GB)1156.111.56.03670 GB
Kùzu Remote Backend (bm=10GB)1121.9211.216.8835.0360 GB

So, when have enough memory, there is about 2.8x slow down (from 1.4s to 3.93s per batch). This is the case when Kùzu has enough buffer memory (60GB) to store the 53GB of features but we still incur the cost of scanning them through Kùzu’s buffer manager. So no or very little disk I/O happens (except the first time the features are scanned to the buffer manager). Then as we lower the memory, Kùzu can hold only part of the of node features in its buffer manager, so we force Kùzu to do more and more I/O. The per batch time increase to 5.89s at 40GB of buffer manager size, then seems to stabilize around 11s (so around 8.2x slowdown).

The slow down is better if you use smaller batch sizes but for the end to end training time, you should probably still prefer to use larger batch sizes. This is a place where we would need to do more research to see how much performance is on the table with further optimizations.

But in summary, if you have large datasets that don’t fit on your current systems’ memories and would like to easily train your PyG models off of disk (plus get all the usability features of a GDBMS as you prepare your datasets for training), this feature can be very useful for you!

Data Ingestion Improvements

Ingest from multiple files: You can now load data from multiple files of the same type into a node/rel table in two ways:

  • file list: ["vPerson0.csv", "vPerson1.csv", "vPerson2.csv"]
  • glob pattern matching: Similar to Linux Glob, this will load files that matches the glob pattern.

Ingest from npy files: We start exploring how to enable data ingesting in column by column fashion. Consider a Paper table defined in the following DDL.

CREATE NODE TABLE Paper(id INT64, feat FLOAT[768], year INT64, label DOUBLE, PRIMARY KEY(id));

Suppose your raw data is stored in npy formats where each column is represented as a numpy array on disk: “node_id.npy”, “node_feat_f32.npy”, “node_year.npy”, “node_label.npy”. You can now directly copy from npy files where each file is loaded to a column in Paper table as follows:

COPY Paper FROM ("node_id.npy", "node_feat_f32.npy", "node_year.npy", "node_label.npy") BY COLUMN;

Reduce memory consumption when ingesting data into node tables: This release further optimizes the memory consumption during data ingestion of node tables. We no longer keep the whole node table in memory before flushing it to disk as a whole. Instead, we process a chunk of a file and flush its corresponding pages, so incur only the memory cost of ingesting a chunk (or as many chunks as there are threads running). This greatly reduces memory usage when the node table is very large.

Query Optimizer Improvements

Projection push down for sink operator: We now push down projections down to the first sink operator above the last point in a query plan they are needed. Consider the following query:

MATCH (a:person) WHERE a.age > 35 RETURN a.salary AS s ORDER BY s;

This query’s (simplified) plan is: Scan->Filter->OrderBY->ResultCollector, where both ORDER BY and the final ResultCollector are sink operators. ResultCollector is where we accumulate the expressions in the RETURN clause. This is simplified because ORDER BY actually consists of several physical operators. Both column age and salary are scanned initially but only salary is needed in ResultCollector. age, which is needed by Filter is projected out in the ResultCollector. We now push the projection of age to ORDER BY, so ORDER BY does not have to materialize it.

Other optimizations: We implemented several other optimizations, such as we reorder the filter expressions so equality conditions are evaluated first, several improvements to cardinality estimator, and improved sideway information passing for joins. For the latter, in our core join operator, which we called ASP-Joins in our CIDR paper, we would blindly perform sideways information passing (sip) from build to probe (or vice versa; see our paper for details). Sometimes if there is no filters on the probe and build sides, this is just an overhead as it won’t decrease the amount of scans on either side. In cases where we think sip won’t help reduce scans, we do vanilla Hash Joins now.

New Buffer Manager

Before this release, we had two internal buffer pools with 2 different frame sizes of 4KB and 256KB, so operators could only grab buffers of these two sizes. Plus when you loaded your DB and wanted to allocate say 10GB buffer pool, we manually gave a fixed percentage to 4KB pool and the rest to 256KB pool. This didn’t give any flexibility for storing large objects and complicated code to manage buffers when operators needed them. Terrible design; just don’t do this!

We bit the bullet and decided to read the literature and pick a state-of-art buffer manager design that is also practical. We switched to the mmap-based approach described in VMCache design from this recent paper by Leis et al.. This is a very nice design and makes it very easy to support multiple buffer sizes very easily and only uses hardware locks (we used software locks in our previous buffer manager). It also supports using optimistic reading, which we verified improves our query performance a lot.

New Data Types

We now support several additional data types that were missing.

FIXED-LIST data type: This is important if you’re doing graph ML and storing node features in Kùzu. It is the efficient way to store fixed-length vectors. Here’s the summary of how to declare a node or rel property in your schemas to use the fixed-list data type.

Data TypeDescriptionDDL definition
FIXED-LISTa list of fixed number of values of the same numerical typeINT64[8]

When possible use FIXED LIST instead of regular VAR-LIST data type for cases when you know the size of your lists/vectors. It’s much more efficient.

Note that FIXED-LIST is an experimental feature. Currently only bulk loading (e.g. COPY statement) and reading is supported.

INT32, INT16, FLOAT data types: The release also comes with support for the following data types:

Data TypeSizeDescription
INT324 bytessigned four-byte integer
INT162 bytessigned two-byte integer
FLOAT4 bytessingle precision floating-point number

For our next release, our focus on data types will be on complex ones, STRUCT and MAP. So stay tuned for those!

Other System Functionalities

Query timeout: We will now automatically stop any query that exceeds a specified timeout value (if one exists). The default query timeout value is set to -1, which signifies that the query timeout feature is initially disabled. You can activate the query timeout by configuring a positive timeout value through:

  1. C++ API: Connection::setQueryTimeOut(uint64_t timeoutInMS)
  2. CLI: :timeout [timeoutValue]

Interrupt: You can also interrupt your queries and can stop your long running queries manually. There are two ways to do this:

  • C++ API: Connection::interrupt(): interrupt all running queries within the current connection.
  • CLI: interrupt through CTRL+C

Note: The Interruption and Query Timeout features are not applicable to COPY commands in this release.


  1. Internally, PyG coverts the edge list to CSC format for sampling, which duplicates the graph structures in memory. When you download the graph topology it actually takes about 24GB.

  2. We set num_workers to 16 when running the PyG in-memory setup. Since Kùzu does not currently work with multiple workers in Python, we limit num_workers to 1 when sampling from Kùzu but internally Kùzu scans in parallel with 16 threads.