New style of hash join proposal

From: Gregory Stark <stark(at)enterprisedb(dot)com>
To: pgsql-hackers list <pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: New style of hash join proposal
Date: 2007-12-13 13:13:33
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We currently execute a lot of joins as Nested Loops which would be more
efficient if we could batch together all the outer keys and execute a single
inner bitmap index scan for all of them together.

Essentially what I'm saying is that we're missing a trick with Hash Joins
which currently require that we can execute the inner side once without any
parameters from the outer side.

Instead what we could do is build up the hash table, then scan the hash table
building up an array of keys and pass them as a parameter to the inner side.
The inner side could do a bitmap index scan to fetch them all at once and
start returning them just as normal to the hash join.

There are a couple details:

1) Batched hash joins. Actually I think this would be fairly straightforward.
You want to rescan the inner side once for each batch. That would actually
be easier than what we currently do with saving tuples to files and all

2) How to pass the keys. This could be a bit tricky especially for
multi-column keys. My first thought was to build up an actually Array node
but that only really works for single-column keys I think. Besides it would
be more efficient to somehow arrange to pass over a reference to the whole

I fear the real complexity would be (as always) in the planner rather than the
executor. I haven't really looked into what it would take to arrange this or
how to decide when to do it.

Gregory Stark
Ask me about EnterpriseDB's RemoteDBA services!


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