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## Re: GiST indexing tuples

### In response to

### pgsql-performance by date

On Thu, 29 Nov 2007, Matthew T. O'Connor wrote: > Matthew wrote: > > For instance, the normal B-tree index on (a, b) is able to answer queries > > like "a = 5 AND b > 1" or "a > 5". An R-tree would be able to index these, > > plus queries like "a > 5 AND b < 1". > > Sorry in advance if this is a stupid question, but how is this better > than two index, one on "a" and one on "b"? I supposed there could be a > space savings but beyond that? Imagine you have a table with columns "a" and "b". The table has a bazillion rows, and the values of "a" and "b" both range from a negative bazillion to a positive bazillion. (Note this is exactly the case in our database, for some value of a bazillion.) Then, you run the query: SELECT * FROM table WHERE a > 5 AND b < 1; So, an index on "a" will return half a bazillion results for the constraint "a > 5". Likewise, the index on "b" will return half a bazillion results for the constraint "b < 1". However, the intersection of these two constraints could be just a few rows. (Note this is exactly the case in our database.) Now, Postgres has two options. It could use just the one index and filter half a bazillion rows (which is what it used to do), or it could create a bitmap with a bazillion bits from each index, and do a logical AND operation on them to create a new bitmap with just a few bits set (which it now can do under some circumstances). Either way, it's going to be a heavy operation. An R-tree index on "a, b" would instantly return just those few rows, without using significant amounts of memory or time. Hope that helps, Matthew -- Patron: "I am looking for a globe of the earth." Librarian: "We have a table-top model over here." Patron: "No, that's not good enough. Don't you have a life-size?" Librarian: (pause) "Yes, but it's in use right now."

- Re: GiST indexing tuples at 2007-11-29 20:23:10 from Matthew T. O'Connor

Next: From:Bill MoranDate:2007-11-30 14:20:33Subject: Re: Appending "LIMIT" to query drastically decreases performancePrevious: From: MatthewDate: 2007-11-30 13:30:28Subject: Re: Appending "LIMIT" to query drastically decreases performance