I have this code to create an inverted index from a directory of text files:

(def p (re-pattern #"[^\p{L}&&[^\p{M}]]"))

(defn invert[file]
  (let [f (.getName file)
        tokens (.split p (lower-case (slurp file)))]
        (into {} (mapcat #(hash-map % #{f}) tokens))))

(defn build-index[dirname]
  (reduce #(merge-with union %1 %2) (map invert (.listFiles (java.io.File. dirname)))))

Can you improve it / make it more idiomatic? My concern is performance. I'm testing it with 10k files of 10k in size, and I can make it about 20-30% faster if I use transients like this:

(defn add![idx file]
  (let [f (.getName file)]
    (loop [idx idx
           tokens (.split p (lower-case (slurp file)))]
      (if-not (seq tokens) idx
              (recur (assoc! idx (first tokens) (union (idx (first tokens)) #{f})) (rest tokens))))))

(defn build-index[dirname]
  (loop [files (.listFiles (java.io.File. dirname))
         idx (transient {})]
    (if-not (seq files) (persistent! idx)
            (recur (rest files) (add! idx (first files))))))

Full code including test file generator here:


Any feedback is welcome.


1 Answer 1


You should be able to use reducers to get a good speed boost as the consumption and building of your index can be parallelized.

I have found the best docs for reducers to be the doc strings themselves: Reducers -- Github

(ns ...
  (:require [clojure.core.reducers :as r]
            [clojure.java.io :as io]
            [clojure.string :as str]))

(defn invert [file]
  (let [f (.getName file)
        tokens (str/split (str/lower-case (slurp file)) p)]
        (->> tokens
             (r/mapcat #(hash-map % #{f}))
             (into {}))))

(defn build-index 
  (->> dirname
       (r/map invert)
       (r/fold (r/monoid (partial merge-with union) hash-map))))

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