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Re: [PATCHES] Proposed patch: synchronized_scanningGUCvariable

From: Jeff Davis <pgsql(at)j-davis(dot)com>
To: Gregory Stark <stark(at)enterprisedb(dot)com>
Cc: Zeugswetter Andreas ADI SD <Andreas(dot)Zeugswetter(at)s-itsolutions(dot)at>, Heikki Linnakangas <heikki(at)enterprisedb(dot)com>, Simon Riggs <simon(at)2ndquadrant(dot)com>, Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us>, Neil Conway <neilc(at)samurai(dot)com>, "Jonah H(dot) Harris" <jonah(dot)harris(at)gmail(dot)com>, pgsql-hackers(at)postgreSQL(dot)org
Subject: Re: [PATCHES] Proposed patch: synchronized_scanningGUCvariable
Date: 2008-01-29 17:48:15
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Lists: pgsql-hackerspgsql-patches
On Tue, 2008-01-29 at 10:55 +0000, Gregory Stark wrote:
> "Zeugswetter Andreas ADI SD" <Andreas(dot)Zeugswetter(at)s-itsolutions(dot)at> writes:
> > Sorry, but I don't grok this at all. Why the heck would we care if we have 2
> > parts of the table perfectly clustered, because we started in the middle ?
> > Surely our stats collector should recognize such a table as perfectly
> > clustered. Does it not ? We are talking about one breakage in the readahead
> > logic here, this should only bring the clustered property from 100% to some
> > 99.99% depending on table size vs readahead window.
> Well clusteredness is used or could be used for a few different heuristics,
> not all of which this would be quite as well satisfied as readahead. But for

Can you give an example? Treating a file as a circular structure does
not impose any significant cost that I can see.

> It would be great if Postgres picked up a serious statistics geek who could
> pipe up in discussions like this with "how about using the Euler-Jacobian
> Centroid" or some such thing. If you have any suggestions of what metric to
> use and how to calculate the info we need from it that would be great.


> One suggestion from a long way back was scanning the index and counting how
> many times the item pointer moves backward to an earlier block. That would

An interesting metric. As you say, we really need a statistician to
definitively say what the correct metrics are, and what kind of sampling
we need to make good estimates.

> still require a full index scan though. And it doesn't help for columns which
> aren't indexed though I'm not sure we need this info for columns which aren't
> indexed. It's also not clear how to interpolate from that the amount of random
> access a given query would perform.

I don't think "clusteredness" has any meaning at all in postgres for an
unindexed column. I suppose a table could be clustered without an index,
but currently there's no way to do that in postgresql.

	Jeff Davis

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