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56.1. Sampling Method Support Functions

The TSM handler function returns a palloc'd TsmRoutine struct containing pointers to the support functions described below. Most of the functions are required, but some are optional, and those pointers can be NULL.

SampleScanGetSampleSize (PlannerInfo *root,
                         RelOptInfo *baserel,
                         List *paramexprs,
                         BlockNumber *pages,
                         double *tuples);

This function is called during planning. It must estimate the number of relation pages that will be read during a sample scan, and the number of tuples that will be selected by the scan. (For example, these might be determined by estimating the sampling fraction, and then multiplying the baserel->pages and baserel->tuples numbers by that, being sure to round the results to integral values.) The paramexprs list holds the expression(s) that are parameters to the TABLESAMPLE clause. It is recommended to use estimate_expression_value() to try to reduce these expressions to constants, if their values are needed for estimation purposes; but the function must provide size estimates even if they cannot be reduced, and it should not fail even if the values appear invalid (remember that they're only estimates of what the run-time values will be). The pages and tuples parameters are outputs.

InitSampleScan (SampleScanState *node,
                int eflags);

Initialize for execution of a SampleScan plan node. This is called during executor startup. It should perform any initialization needed before processing can start. The SampleScanState node has already been created, but its tsm_state field is NULL. The InitSampleScan function can palloc whatever internal state data is needed by the sampling method, and store a pointer to it in node->tsm_state. Information about the table to scan is accessible through other fields of the SampleScanState node (but note that the node->ss.ss_currentScanDesc scan descriptor is not set up yet). eflags contains flag bits describing the executor's operating mode for this plan node.

When (eflags & EXEC_FLAG_EXPLAIN_ONLY) is true, the scan will not actually be performed, so this function should only do the minimum required to make the node state valid for EXPLAIN and EndSampleScan.

This function can be omitted (set the pointer to NULL), in which case BeginSampleScan must perform all initialization needed by the sampling method.

BeginSampleScan (SampleScanState *node,
                 Datum *params,
                 int nparams,
                 uint32 seed);

Begin execution of a sampling scan. This is called just before the first attempt to fetch a tuple, and may be called again if the scan needs to be restarted. Information about the table to scan is accessible through fields of the SampleScanState node (but note that the node->ss.ss_currentScanDesc scan descriptor is not set up yet). The params array, of length nparams, contains the values of the parameters supplied in the TABLESAMPLE clause. These will have the number and types specified in the sampling method's parameterTypes list, and have been checked to not be null. seed contains a seed to use for any random numbers generated within the sampling method; it is either a hash derived from the REPEATABLE value if one was given, or the result of random() if not.

This function may adjust the fields node->use_bulkread and node->use_pagemode. If node->use_bulkread is true, which it is by default, the scan will use a buffer access strategy that encourages recycling buffers after use. It might be reasonable to set this to false if the scan will visit only a small fraction of the table's pages. If node->use_pagemode is true, which it is by default, the scan will perform visibility checking in a single pass for all tuples on each visited page. It might be reasonable to set this to false if the scan will select only a small fraction of the tuples on each visited page. That will result in fewer tuple visibility checks being performed, though each one will be more expensive because it will require more locking.

If the sampling method is marked repeatable_across_scans, it must be able to select the same set of tuples during a rescan as it did originally, that is a fresh call of BeginSampleScan must lead to selecting the same tuples as before (if the TABLESAMPLE parameters and seed don't change).

NextSampleBlock (SampleScanState *node);

Returns the block number of the next page to be scanned, or InvalidBlockNumber if no pages remain to be scanned.

This function can be omitted (set the pointer to NULL), in which case the core code will perform a sequential scan of the entire relation. Such a scan can use synchronized scanning, so that the sampling method cannot assume that the relation pages are visited in the same order on each scan.

NextSampleTuple (SampleScanState *node,
                 BlockNumber blockno,
                 OffsetNumber maxoffset);

Returns the offset number of the next tuple to be sampled on the specified page, or InvalidOffsetNumber if no tuples remain to be sampled. maxoffset is the largest offset number in use on the page.

Note: NextSampleTuple is not explicitly told which of the offset numbers in the range 1 .. maxoffset actually contain valid tuples. This is not normally a problem since the core code ignores requests to sample missing or invisible tuples; that should not result in any bias in the sample. However, if necessary, the function can examine node->ss.ss_currentScanDesc->rs_vistuples[] to identify which tuples are valid and visible. (This requires node->use_pagemode to be true.)

Note: NextSampleTuple must not assume that blockno is the same page number returned by the most recent NextSampleBlock call. It was returned by some previous NextSampleBlock call, but the core code is allowed to call NextSampleBlock in advance of actually scanning pages, so as to support prefetching. It is OK to assume that once sampling of a given page begins, successive NextSampleTuple calls all refer to the same page until InvalidOffsetNumber is returned.

EndSampleScan (SampleScanState *node);

End the scan and release resources. It is normally not important to release palloc'd memory, but any externally-visible resources should be cleaned up. This function can be omitted (set the pointer to NULL) in the common case where no such resources exist.

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