What Is a Graph Database?

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Graph Database

Graph databases refers to a category of  NoSQL databases that represent data whose relations are well represented as a set of nodes. These nodes have an undetermined number of connections and are evaluated through computer algorithms.

Good graph database use cases include:

  • Social relationships (nodes are people)
  • Public transport links (nodes can be bus or train stations)
  • Roadmaps (nodes are street intersections or highway intersections)
  • Anything requiring traversing a graph to find the shortest routes, nearest neighbors, etc.)

Other Definitions of Graph Databases Include:

  • “A set of nodes, edges, and properties to represent and store data. The relationships between data points often matter more than the individual points themselves.” (Donna Burbank)
  • “A property graph consisting of nodes and relationships between the nodes, with attributes called properties.” (Akshay Pore)
  • “A database designed to treat the relationships between data as a first-class citizen in the Data Model.” (Neo4j)
  • “A graph data model consists of vertices that represent the entities in a domain, and edges that represent the relationships between these entities.” (InfoWorld)

Image credit: Neo4j

Businesses Use Graph Databases to:

  • Handle applications requiring traversal between data points
  • Store properties of each data point as well as relationships between them
  • Ask complex queries to determine relationships between data points
  • Detect patterns between data points

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