Signature files are known as promising facilities to speed up accesses to large information repositories in database and information retrieval systems. This paper presents a new signature file organization method, named Partitioned Frame-Sliced Signature File (P-FSSF), and studies its performance. P-FSSF incorporates both vertical and horizontal decomposition schemes to reduce page accesses required to look up signatures. In addition, P-FSSF is flexible enough to have its concrete organization tuned to real application environments. We develop formulas to estimate the retrieval cost of P-FSSF in the context of the general set-valued object retrieval. Also, formulas to tell the update and storage costs are derived. Then, the processing cost of P-FSSF is shown to be lower than the other existing signature file organizations in general. We also show that Partitioned Bit-Sliced Signature File (P-BSSF), which is a special case of P-FSSF, is appropriate organization in most probable cases through the study of the optimal parameter values for P-FSSF.
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