Data Query Process in TDengine

TDengine is a time-series database designed and optimized for IoT. You can get it on GitHub. This blog will introduce the Data Query Process in TDengine for you.

TDengine provides a variety of query processing functions for tables and STables. In addition to common aggregation queries, TDengine also provides window queries and statistical aggregation functions for time-series data. The query processing of TDengine needs the collaboration of client, vnode and mnode.

Single Table Query

The parsing and verification of SQL statements are completed on the client side. SQL statements are parsed and generate an Abstract Syntax Tree (AST), which is then checksummed. Then request metadata information (table metadata) for the table specified in the query from management node (mnode).

According to the End Point information in metadata information, the query request is serialized and sent to the data node (dnode) where the table is located. After receiving the query, the dnode identifies the virtual node (vnode) pointed to and forwards the message to the query execution queue of the vnode. The query execution thread of vnode establishes the basic query execution environment, immediately returns the query request and starts executing the query at the same time.

When client obtains query result, the worker thread in query execution queue of dnode will wait for the execution of vnode execution thread to complete before returning the query result to the requesting client.

Aggregation by Time Axis, Downsampling, Interpolation

The remarkable feature that time-series data is different from ordinary data is that each record has a timestamp, so aggregating data with timestamps on the time axis is an important and unique function from common databases. From this point of view, it is similar to the window query of stream computing engine.

The keyword “interval” is introduced into TDengine to split fixed length time windows on time axis, and the data are aggregated according to time windows, and the data within window range are aggregated as needed. For example:

According to the data collected by device D1001, the number of records stored per hour is returned by a 1-hour time window.

In application scenarios where query results need to be obtained continuously, if there is data missing in a given time interval, the data results in this interval will also be lost. TDengine provides a strategy to interpolate the results of timeline aggregation calculation. The results of time axis aggregation can be interpolated by using keyword Fill. For example:

According to the data collected by device D1001, the number of records per hour is counted. If there is no data in a certain hour, statistical data of the previous hour is returned. TDengine provides forward interpolation (prev), linear interpolation (linear), NULL value populating (NULL), and specific value populating (value).

Multi-table Aggregation Query

TDengine creates a separate table for each data collection point, but in practical applications, it is often necessary to aggregate data from different collection points. In order to perform aggregation operations efficiently, TDengine introduces the concept of STable. STable is used to represent a specific type of data collection point. It is a table set containing multiple tables. The schema of each table in the set is completely consistent, but each table has its own static tag. The tags can be multiple and be added, deleted and modified at any time. Applications can aggregate or statistically operate all or a subset of tables under a STABLE by specifying tag filters, thus greatly simplifying the development of applications. The process is shown in the following figure:

Picture: Diagram of multi-table aggregation query

Since TDengine stores tag data and time-series data separately in vnode, by filtering tag data in memory, the set of tables that need to participate in aggregation operation is first found, which greatly reduces the volume of data scanned and improves aggregation calculation speed. At the same time, because the data is distributed in multiple vnodes/dnodes, the aggregation calculation operation is carried out concurrently in multiple vnodes, which further improves the aggregation speed. Aggregation functions for ordinary tables and most operations are applicable to STables. The syntax is exactly the same. Please see TAOS SQL for details.

TAOS Data's flagship product, TDengine, is an open-source AIoT big data platform GitHub: https://github.com/taosdata/TDengine