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Re: Buffering GiST leaf pages too

From: Jim Nasby <jim(at)nasby(dot)net>
To: Heikki Linnakangas <heikki(dot)linnakangas(at)enterprisedb(dot)com>
Cc: Alexander Korotkov <aekorotkov(at)gmail(dot)com>, PostgreSQL-development <pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: Buffering GiST leaf pages too
Date: 2011-08-25 21:45:15
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Lists: pgsql-hackers
On Aug 23, 2011, at 2:03 AM, Heikki Linnakangas wrote:
> While looking at Alexander's GiST fastbuild patch, which adds buffers to internal nodes to avoid random I/O during index build, it occurred to me that inserting the tuples to the leaf pages one at a time is quite inefficient too, even if the leaf pages are in cache. There's still the overhead of locking and WAL-logging each insertion separately. I think we could get a nice further speedup if we attach a small buffer (one block or so) to every leaf page we're currently writing tuples to, and update the leaf page in bulk. Conveniently, the code to insert multiple tuples to a page already exists in GiST code (because inserting a tuple sometimes splits the page into more than two parts, so you need to insert multiple downlinks to the parent), so this requires no changes to the low-level routines and WAL-logging.
> Let's finish off the main fastbuild patch first, but I wanted to get the idea out there.

I've often wondered about the per-tuple overhead of all kinds of operations, not just GiST index builds. For example, if you're doing a seqscan, ISTM it would be a lot more efficient to memcpy an entire page into backend-local memory and operate off of that lock-free. Similarly for an index scan, you'd want to copy a full leaf page if you think you'll be hitting it more than once or twice.
Jim C. Nasby, Database Architect                   jim(at)nasby(dot)net
512.569.9461 (cell)               

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