Re: [HACKERS] Removing [Merge]Append nodes which contain a single subpath

From: David Rowley <david(dot)rowley(at)2ndquadrant(dot)com>
To: Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us>
Cc: Tomas Vondra <tomas(dot)vondra(at)2ndquadrant(dot)com>, Robert Haas <robertmhaas(at)gmail(dot)com>, Michael Paquier <michael(dot)paquier(at)gmail(dot)com>, PostgreSQL-development <pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: [HACKERS] Removing [Merge]Append nodes which contain a single subpath
Date: 2019-01-31 04:22:07
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On Sat, 26 Jan 2019 at 13:51, Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us> wrote:
> David Rowley <david(dot)rowley(at)2ndquadrant(dot)com> writes:
> > On Thu, 3 Jan 2019 at 08:01, Tomas Vondra <tomas(dot)vondra(at)2ndquadrant(dot)com> wrote:
> >> AFAICS the patch essentially does two things: (a) identifies Append
> >> paths with a single member and (b) ensures the Vars are properly mapped
> >> when the Append node is skipped when creating the plan.
> >> I agree doing (a) in setrefs.c is too late, as mentioned earlier. But
> >> perhaps we could do at least (b) to setrefs.c?
> > The problem I found with doing var translations in setrefs.c was that
> > the plan tree is traversed there breadth-first and in createplan.c we
> > build the plan depth-first. The problem I didn't manage to overcome
> > with that is that when we replace a "ProxyPath" (actually an Append
> > path marked as is_proxy=true) it only alter targetlists, etc of nodes
> > above that in the plan tree. The nodes below it and their targetlists
> > don't care, as these don't fetch Vars from nodes above them. If we do
> > the Var translation in setrefs then we've not yet looked at the nodes
> > that don't care and we've already done the nodes that do care. So the
> > tree traversal is backwards.
> I don't quite buy this argument, because you haven't given a reason
> why it doesn't apply with equal force to setrefs.c's elimination of
> no-op SubqueryScan nodes. Yet that does work.

I assume you're talking about the code that's in
set_subqueryscan_references() inside the trivial_subqueryscan()

If so, then that seems pretty different from what I'm doing here
because trivial_subqueryscan() only ever returns true when the
Vars/Exprs from the subquery's target list match the scan's targetlist
exactly, in the same order. It's not quite that simple with the
single-subpath Append/MergeAppend case since the Vars/Exprs won't be
the same since they're from different relations and possibly in some
different order.

> Stepping back for a minute: even if we get this to work, how often
> is it going to do anything useful? It seems like most of the other
> development that's going on is trying to postpone pruning till later,
> so I wonder how often we'll really know at the beginning of planning
> that only one child will survive.

It'll do something useful everytime the planner would otherwise
produce an Append or MergeAppend with a single subpath. Pruning down
to just 1 relation is pretty common, so seems worth optimising for.
There's no other development that postpones pruning until later. If
you're talking about run-time pruning then nothing is "postponed". We
still attempt to prune during planning, it's just that we might not be
able to prune in some cases until during execution, so we may do both.
You make it sound like we're trying to do away with plan-time
pruning, but that's not happening, in fact, we're working pretty hard
to speed up the planner when plan-time pruning *can* be done. So far
there are no patches to speed up planner for partitioned tables when
the planner can't prune any partitions, although it is something that
I've been giving some thought to.

I've also attached a rebased patch.

David Rowley
PostgreSQL Development, 24x7 Support, Training & Services

Attachment Content-Type Size
v11-0001-Forgo-generating-single-subpath-Append-and-Merge.patch application/octet-stream 82.7 KB

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