On Thu, Mar 20, 2008 at 05:17:22PM +0000, Simon Riggs wrote:
> Currently, our sort algorithm assumes that its input is unsorted. So if
> your data is sorted on (a) and you would like it to be sorted on (a,b)
> then we need to perform the full sort of (a,b).
> For small sorts this doesn't matter much. For larger sorts the heap sort
> algorithm will typically result in just a single run being written to
> disk which must then be read back in. Number of I/Os required is twice
> the total volume of data to be sorted.
> If we assume we use heap sort, then if we *know* that the data is
> presorted on (a) then we should be able to emit tuples directly that the
> value of (a) changes and keep emitting them until the heap is empty,
> since they will exit the heap in (a,b) order.
We also have stats to help decide when this will be a win. For example
if "a" has a small range (i.e. a boolean) and "b" has a large range
(i.e. some sequence) then this probably isn't going to be a win and
you're better off using the existing infrastructure. If it's the other
way around then this is going to be a big win.
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