|From:||Tomas Vondra <tomas(dot)vondra(at)2ndquadrant(dot)com>|
|Subject:||Additional improvements to extended statistics|
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Now that I've committed  which allows us to use multiple extended
statistics per table, I'd like to start a thread discussing a couple of
additional improvements for extended statistics. I've considered
starting a separate patch for each, but that would be messy as those
changes will touch roughly the same places. So I've organized it into a
single patch series, with the simpler parts at the beginning.
There are three main improvements:
1) improve estimates of OR clauses
Until now, OR clauses pretty much ignored extended statistics, based on
the experience that they're less vulnerable to misestimates. But it's a
bit weird that AND clauses are handled while OR clauses are not, so this
extends the logic to OR clauses.
Status: I think this is fairly OK.
2) support estimating clauses (Var op Var)
Currently, we only support clauses with a single Var, i.e. clauses like
- Var op Const
- Var IS [NOT] NULL
- [NOT] Var
and AND/OR clauses built from those simple ones. This patch adds support
for clauses of the form (Var op Var), of course assuming both Vars come
from the same relation.
Status: This works, but it feels a bit hackish. Needs more work.
3) support extended statistics on expressions
Currently we only allow simple references to columns in extended stats,
so we can do
CREATE STATISTICS s ON a, b, c FROM t;
CREATE STATISTICS s ON (a+b), (c + 1) FROM t;
This patch aims to allow this. At the moment it's a WIP - it does most
of the catalog changes and stats building, but with some hacks/bugs. And
it does not even try to use those statistics during estimation.
The first question is how to extend the current pg_statistic_ext catalog
to support expressions. I've been planning to do it the way we support
expressions for indexes, i.e. have two catalog fields - one for keys,
one for expressions.
One difference is that for statistics we don't care about order of the
keys, so that we don't need to bother with storing 0 keys in place for
expressions - we can simply assume keys are first, then expressions.
And this is what the patch does now.
I'm however wondering whether to keep this split - why not to just treat
everything as expressions, and be done with it? A key just represents a
Var expression, after all. And it would massively simplify a lot of code
that now has to care about both keys and expressions.
Of course, expressions are a bit more expensive, but I wonder how
noticeable that would be.
Tomas Vondra http://www.2ndQuadrant.com
PostgreSQL Development, 24x7 Support, Remote DBA, Training & Services
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