Re: wip: functions median and percentile

```On 11 October 2010 16:44, Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us> wrote:
> Dean Rasheed <dean(dot)a(dot)rasheed(at)gmail(dot)com> writes:
>> On 11 October 2010 15:03, Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us> wrote:
>>> Reflecting on it, I think it'd be best to allow an agg to
>>> provide an estimation function that'd be told the input data type and
>>> expected number of rows --- even on a per-aggregate basis, a constant
>>> estimate just isn't good enough.
>
>> How good will that estimate of the number of rows be though?
>
> It can't possibly be any worse than a hard-wired constant ;-)
>
>> If they're coming from a SRF it could be a huge under-estimate, and you'd
>> still risk eating all the memory, if you allowed a hash aggregate.
>
> If, for a particular aggregate, you're too chicken to ever allow hash
> aggregation, you could just return a very large number from the
> estimation hook function.  I doubt that's a very useful behavior in the
> majority of cases though.
>

Yeah, for median I'd be too chicken :-)

set work_mem = '2MB';
explain analyse select median(i) from generate_series(1,40000) as g(i)
group by i;
QUERY PLAN
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HashAggregate  (cost=15.00..17.50 rows=200 width=4) (actual
time=229.524..287.153 rows=40000 loops=1)
->  Function Scan on generate_series g  (cost=0.00..10.00 rows=1000
width=4) (actual time=8.738..16.595 rows=40000 loops=1)
Total runtime: 811.460 ms
(3 rows)

The estimate of 200 x 8K is below work_mem, so it uses a hash
aggregate. In reality, each tuplesort allocates around 30K initially,
so it very quickly uses over 1GB. A better estimate for the aggregate
wouldn't improve this situation much.

Regards,
Dean

```

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