Igor Lobanov wrote:
> Richard Huxton wrote:
>>> I have rather large table with about 5 millions of rows and a dozen
>>> of columns. Let's suppose that columns are named 'a', 'b', 'c' etc. I
>>> need to query distinct pairs of ('a';'b') from this table.
>> What version of PostgreSQL is it?
Current release is 8.1.6 - probably worth upgrading when you've got
time. It should be a simple matter of replacing the binaries but do
check the release notes.
>> How many distinct values are you getting back from your 5 million
>> rows? If there are too many, an index isn't going to help.
> No more than 10,000.
OK. Should be possible to do something then.
>> Can you share the EXPLAIN ANALYSE output? You might want to try
>> increasing work_mem for this one query to speed any sorting.
> Real table and colum names are obfuscated because of NDA, sorry.
> explain analyze select distinct a, b from tbl
> EXPLAIN ANALYZE output is:
> Unique (cost=500327.32..525646.88 rows=1848 width=6) (actual
> time=52719.868..56126.356 rows=5390 loops=1)
> -> Sort (cost=500327.32..508767.17 rows=3375941 width=6) (actual
> time=52719.865..54919.989 rows=3378864 loops=1)
> Sort Key: a, b
> -> Seq Scan on tbl (cost=0.00..101216.41 rows=3375941
> width=6) (actual time=16.643..20652.610 rows=3378864 loops=1)
> Total runtime: 57307.394 ms
Hmm - am I right in thinking (a,b) are the only two columns on this
table? That means you'll have a lot of rows per page and an index scan
could end up fetching lots of pages to check the rows are visible. Still
- I'd expect it to be better than a seq scan.
The first thing to try is to put the index back and run "SET
enable_seqscan=off" before the explain analyse. That should force it to
use the index. Then we'll see what costs it's expecting.
>> How often is the table updated? Clustering might buy you some
>> improvements (but not a huge amount I suspect).
> It is updated once per 3-5 seconds.
OK - forget clustering then.
> And one more thing. I don't know if it helps, but column 'a' can have
> value from a limited set: 0, 1 or 2. Column 'b' is also an integer
> (foreign key, actually).
Hmm - might be worth trying distinct on (b,a) with an index that way
around - that would give you greater selectivity at the top-level of the
btree. Can you repeat the EXPLAIN ANALYSE with that too please.
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