QA: What is the .xdf file format?

The .xdf format is a binary file format that: 

  • Stores data in blocks for efficient reading of arbitrary columns and contiguous rows

  • Contains associated metadata, such as variable names, descriptions, and data storage types

  • Supports a richer set of data storage types than R (eight types of integers, two types of floating point numbers

  • Writes data blocks of rows so that data processing can be optimized

  • Processes data in chunks (groups of blocks)

  • Optimizes the block sizes depends on individual computer bandwidth for I/O

  • Contains meta information at the end of the .xdf file rather than the beginning for easy updating

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