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Re: More thoughts about planner's cost estimates

From: "Jim C(dot) Nasby" <jnasby(at)pervasive(dot)com>
To: Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us>
Cc: Josh Berkus <josh(at)agliodbs(dot)com>, pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: More thoughts about planner's cost estimates
Date: 2006-06-01 23:22:12
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Lists: pgsql-hackers
On Thu, Jun 01, 2006 at 03:15:09PM -0400, Tom Lane wrote:
> These would all be nice things to know, but I'm afraid it's pie in the
> sky.  We have no reasonable way to get those numbers.  (And if we could
> get them, there would be another set of problems, namely plan instability:
> the planner's choices would become very difficult to reproduce.)

Speaking of plan instability, something that's badly needed is the
ability to steer away from query plans that *might* be the most optimal,
but also will fail horribly should the cost estimates be wrong. People
generally don't care about getting the absolutely most optimal plan;
they do care about NOT getting a plan that's horribly bad. One possible
way to do this would be to have the estimator calculate a worst-case
cost to go along with the best case cost, or maybe even 3 numbers:
ideal, what we think will happen, and worst-case. I know that index
scans already have that information, at least in the form of cost for a
plan with 0 correlation and one with perfect correlation.

Does anyone have any experience developing genetic algorithms? I think
coming up with cost estimators might be an ideal use for that
Jim C. Nasby, Sr. Engineering Consultant      jnasby(at)pervasive(dot)com
Pervasive Software    work: 512-231-6117
vcard:       cell: 512-569-9461

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