Hashing in DBMS

Hashing in DBMS


In this article, we will learn about Hashing in DBMS.

  • In a huge database structure, it is difficult to search all index values sequentially and then reach the destination data block to get the desired data
  • Hashing is an effective technique to calculate the direct location of the data record on the disk using a function key without using a sequential index structure as a result data retrieval time decreases
  • Bucket: Hash file stores data in bucket format, a bucket is nothing but a unit of storage. Typically 1 complete disc block which in turn can store one or more records
  • Hash Function:  a Hash Function returns a value which is nothing but the address of the desired data block 
Hashing in DBMS

Static hashing 

  • In static hashing, a search key value is provided by the designed Hash Function always computes the same address
  • For example, if mod (4) hash function is used, then it shall generate only 5 values.
  • The number of buckets provided remains unchanged at all times
  • Bucket address = h (K): the address of the desired data item which is used for insertion updating and deletion operations

Collision and its resolution 

  • Collision is a condition when there is a fight between multiple data items for the same address
  • Simply collision arises when a hash function generates an address at which data is already stored

Overflow chaining (closed hashing) 

  • When buckets are full a new bucket is allocated for the same hash result which is then linked after the previous one
  • For example, if h (k) =3 and if some data is already present in this location, now a new bucket is linked to the existing location 3
Overflow chaining

Linear probing (open hashing) 

  • Hash Function is generating a key at which data is already stored then the next free available bucket is allocated
  • For example, if h (k) =6 and is already occupied now check next possible available bucket that is free

Dynamic hashing (extensible hashing) 

  • The drawback of static hashing is that it does not expand or shrink its size based on the requirement of the database
  • Dynamic hashing provides a mechanism in which data buckets are added and removed dynamically and on-demand
  • Generally, Hash Function in dynamic hashing is designed to produce a large number of values such that only a few of them are used at initial stages


  • The prefix of an entire hash value is taken as a hash index.
  • Only a portion of the hash value is used for computing bucket addresses.
  • Every hash index has a depth value to represent how many bits are used for computing a hash function.
  • These bits can address 2n buckets. 
  • When all these bits are consumed i.e, when all the buckets are full then the depth value is increased linearly and twice the buckets are allocated.


  • Hashing is not advantages when data is organized in some ordering and queries require a range of data.
  • Hashing does best when the data is discrete and random
  • Hashing algorithms are having high complexity than indexing
  • All the hash operations are done at a constant time
Learn more about DBMS here on this page.