Re: <> join selectivity estimate question

From: Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us>
To: Robert Haas <robertmhaas(at)gmail(dot)com>
Cc: Thomas Munro <thomas(dot)munro(at)enterprisedb(dot)com>, Pg Hackers <pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: <> join selectivity estimate question
Date: 2017-03-17 17:14:12
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I wrote:
> The problem here appears to be that we don't have any MCV list for
> the "twothousand" column (because it has a perfectly flat distribution),
> and the heuristic that eqjoinsel_semi is using for the no-MCVs case
> is falling down badly.

Oh ... wait. eqjoinsel_semi's charter is to "estimate the fraction of the
LHS relation that has a match". Well, at least in the given regression
test case, it's satisfying that exactly: they all do. For instance,
this estimate is dead on:

regression=# explain analyze select * from tenk1 a where exists(select * from tenk1 b where a.twothousand = b.twothousand);

Hash Join (cost=528.00..1123.50 rows=10000 width=244) (actual time=9.902..15.1
02 rows=10000 loops=1)
Hash Cond: (a.twothousand = b.twothousand)

So eqjoinsel_semi is doing exactly what it thinks it's supposed to.

After a bit more thought, it seems like the bug here is that "the
fraction of the LHS that has a non-matching row" is not one minus
"the fraction of the LHS that has a matching row". In fact, in
this example, *all* LHS rows have both matching and non-matching
RHS rows. So the problem is that neqjoinsel is doing something
that's entirely insane for semijoin cases.

It would not be too hard to convince me that neqjoinsel should
simply return 1.0 for any semijoin/antijoin case, perhaps with
some kind of discount for nullfrac. Whether or not there's an
equal row, there's almost always going to be non-equal row(s).
Maybe we can think of a better implementation but that seems
like the zero-order approximation.

regards, tom lane

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