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Re: Index scan startup time

From: Simon Riggs <simon(at)2ndquadrant(dot)com>
To: Peter Eisentraut <peter_e(at)gmx(dot)net>
Cc: pgsql-performance(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: Index scan startup time
Date: 2006-03-30 17:19:11
Message-ID: 1143739151.13549.112.camel@localhost.localdomain (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-performance
On Thu, 2006-03-30 at 13:59 +0200, Peter Eisentraut wrote:

> Can anyone explain this:
> EXPLAIN ANALYZE select activity_id from activity where state in (10000, 10001) 
> order by activity_id limit 100;
> Limit  (cost=0.00..622.72 rows=100 width=8) (actual 
> time=207356.054..207356.876 rows=100 loops=1)
>   ->  Index Scan using activity_pk on activity  (cost=0.00..40717259.91 
> rows=6538650 width=8) (actual time=207356.050..207356.722 rows=100 loops=1)
>         Filter: ((state = 10000) OR (state = 10001))
> Total runtime: 207357.000 ms

...just adding to Tom's comments:

The interesting thing about this query is it *looks* like the index is
being used to retrieve the matching rows and so the startup time looks
wrong. However the index is being used instead of a sort to satisfy the
ORDER BY, with the state clauses being applied as after-scan filters
since those columns aren't part of the index. So the Index Scan starts
at the leftmost page and scans the whole index...

If the query had chosen a sort, the startup time would have been easily
understandable, but there's no indication from the EXPLAIN as to why the
Index Scan exists. 

Perhaps it should be a TODO item to make the EXPLAIN say explicitly when
an Index Scan is being used to provide sorted output?

Best Regards, Simon Riggs

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