Cypher: An Evolving Query Language for Property Graphs

Nadime Francis, Alastair Green, Paolo Guagliardo, Leonid Libkin, Tobias Lindaaker, Victor Marsault, Stefan Plantikow, Mats Rydberg, Petra Selmer, Andrés Taylor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The Cypher property graph query language is an evolving language, originally designed and implemented as part of the Neo4j graph database, and it is currently used by several commercial database products and researchers. We describe Cypher 9, which is the first version of the language governed by the openCypher Implementers Group. We first introduce the language by example, and describe its uses in industry. We then provide a formal semantic definition of the core read-query features of Cypher, including its variant of the property graph data model, and its “ASCII Art” graph pattern matching mechanism for expressing subgraphs of interest to an application. We compare the features of Cypher to other property graph query languages, and describe extensions, at an advanced stage of development, which will form part of Cypher 10, turning the language into a compositional language which supports graph projections and multiple named graphs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSIGMOD '18: Proceedings of the 2018 International Conference on Management of Data
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9781450347037
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2018
EventSIGMOD’18 - Houston, United States
Duration: 10 Jun 201815 Jun 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings - ACM-SIGMOD International Conference on Management of Data
ISSN (Electronic)0730-8078


Country/TerritoryUnited States


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