Crate ironstorm_lookup [] [src]


This library contains the internal data structure used by the ironstrom project

Design goals

  • Lightning fast auto completion / type ahead lookups (~200 microseconds! per lookup)
  • Not too much searchable text per entry, e.g: street names for locations or movie titles for movies
  • High number of possible candidates (multiple gigabytes)
  • It can be recommended, but must not be rquired to fit the whole data set into physical memory
  • The LookupTable should use virtual memory and OS level optimization to handle larger data sets
  • Full text search capability
  • Optimized for hardly ever changing data sets, e.g.: All streets in a country
  • No mulithreading if not absolutely required => Buy lookup speed with memory, not processing power!
  • Optimize for returning a small number of matches, e.g: Find first 10 of 2 million movies that contain 'hero'
  • Only one dimensional coarse sorting required, e.g: Fantasy books should be returnd before science fiction books
  • Lazy stream/iterator based lookup implementation

Accepted drawbacks

  • Creating a LookupTable for multiple gigabytes of data can take a few minutes
  • A LookupTable can not be modified, only recreated
  • No fine granular sorting possible: e.g: by lexicographical order

Basic Usage

  1. Create a custom type for the data you want to seacrh for, e.g.: a Movie struct
  2. Implement the Lookup trait for your custom type.
  3. Create an Iterator that will iterate over all the elements you would like to put into the LookupTable
  4. Create a new LookupTable by calling LookupTable::from_iter(myMoviesIterator)
  5. Call myMoviesLookupTable.find("hero") to get an lazy 'Iterator' over all matching elements


Let's build a LookupTable to find restaurants by name.

use std::iter::FromIterator;
use ironstorm_lookup::{LookupTable, Lookup, Bucket};

// 1. Create a custom struct representing a restaurant
struct Restaurant<'a> {
    name: &'a str,
    cuisine: &'a str

// 2. Implement the `Lookup` trait for `Restaurant` references
impl <'a> Lookup for &'a Restaurant<'a> {

    // Make the restaurant name searchable
    fn searchable_text(&self) -> String {

    // Decide, based on cuisine, to which `Bucket` a restaurant belongs.
    // `Bucket` is just a type alias for an unsigned integer aka usize.
    // Matches in lower buckets will be returned before matches in higher buckets.
    fn bucket(&self) -> Bucket {
        match self.cuisine {
            "italian"   => 0,
            "german"    => 0,
            "chinese"   => 1,
            _           => 5

// 3. Create some restaurants and the according iterator
let restaurants = vec![
    Restaurant{name:"India Man", cuisine:"indian"},
    Restaurant{name:"Ami Guy", cuisine:"american"},
    Restaurant{name:"Italiano Pizza", cuisine:"italian"},
    Restaurant{name:"Sushi House", cuisine:"chinese"},
    Restaurant{name:"Brezel Hut", cuisine:"german"}
let iter = restaurants.iter();

// 4. Create the `LookupTable`
let lookup_table = ironstorm_lookup::LookupTable::from_iter(iter);

// 5. Find restaurants containing `i`

let mut result_iter = lookup_table.find("i");

// two times 'Italiano pizza', because it's in the lowest bucket
// two times because it has two lower case `i` in the name
assert_eq!(, "Italiano Pizza");
assert_eq!(, "Italiano Pizza");

// 'Sushi House', because it's in the second lowest bucket
assert_eq!(, "Sushi House");

// 'Ami Guy' or ' India Man'
// They are in the same bucket and there is no order within the same bucket
let indian_or_american_1 =;
assert!(indian_or_american_1=="India Man" || indian_or_american_1=="Ami Guy");

// The other one of 'Ami Guy' or ' India Man'
let indian_or_american_2 =;
assert!(indian_or_american_2=="India Man" || indian_or_american_2=="Ami Guy");
assert!(indian_or_american_1 != indian_or_american_2);

// No more matches
// "Brezel Hut" doesn't contain an "i" and was not part of the result.



This is the actual LookupTable that creates the in memory data structure and uses it to perform the lookups. It implements the FromIterator trait and its from_iter(..) method. To create a new LookupTable instance, you first have to create an Iterator over some Lookup items. Having that iterator, you can call `LookupTable::from_iter(myLookupItemIterator)``.



Implement this trait for types that are going be put into a LookupTable

Type Definitions


Every value that is inserted into the lookup table must be assigned to a bucket. Values, assigned to a lower bucket, will be returned before values from a higher bucket. This bucket mechanism is used instead a full blown sorting algorithm to boost performance.