#lookup #completion #suffix #suggestion #typeahead

nightly ironstorm_lookup

Lightning fast lookup table for auto completion, type ahead, suggestion engines

3 stable releases

Uses old Rust 2015

1.0.4 Jan 13, 2017
1.0.2 Jun 30, 2016
1.0.1 Apr 27, 2016

#570 in Text processing


132 lines


Build Status license: Apache2+MIT rurst: nightly


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

To learn more about ironstorm_lookup, read this README.md and the Crate Documentation

It compiles only with the nightly version of rust due to usage of unstable features.

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 multithreading 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!(result_iter.next().unwrap().name, "Italiano Pizza");
assert_eq!(result_iter.next().unwrap().name, "Italiano Pizza");

// 'Sushi House', because it's in the second lowest bucket
assert_eq!(result_iter.next().unwrap().name, "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 = result_iter.next().unwrap().name;
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 = result_iter.next().unwrap().name;
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.


Licensed under either of

at your option


Unless you explicitly state otherwise, any contribution intentionally submitted for inclusion in the work by you, as defined in the Apache-2.0 license, shall be dual licensed as above, without any additional terms or conditions.