2011/6/19 Robert Haas <robertmh...@gmail.com>:
> On Sun, Jun 19, 2011 at 11:12 AM, Cédric Villemain
> <cedric.villemain.deb...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Good point --- we would be making plan decisions based on the visibility
>>> map coverage.  The big question is whether visibility map changes are
>>> more dynamic than the values we already plan against, like rows in the
>>> table, table size, and value distributions.  I don't know the answer.
>> Robert, I though of Covered-Index as just a usage of the vis map:
>> don't take the heap block if not needed. This look easier to do and
>> better in the long term (because read-only DB may quickly turn into a
>> no-heap access DB for example). Thus this is not real covered-index.
>> Did you want to implement real covered-index and did you have ideas on
>> how to do that ? Or just an optimization of the current
>> planner/executor on index usage ?
> If by a "real" covered index you mean one that includes visibility
> info in the index - I have no plans to work on anything like that.  If
> we were to do that, the index would become much larger and less
> efficient, whereas the approach of just optimizing the way our
> existing indexes are used doesn't have that disadvantage.  It also
> sounds like a lot of work. Now, if someone else wants to demonstrate
> that it has advantages that are worth the costs and go do it, more
> power to said person, but I'm unexcited about it.

Yes I was thinking of that, and agree with you.

>> I don't know VM internals:
>>  * do we have a counter of ALL_VISIBLE flag set on a relation ? (this
>> should be very good for planner)
>>  * do we need a pg_class.rel_vmvisible ?! (I have hands up, don't
>> shoot pleeaase)
> Evidently I'm developing a more frightening reputation than I would hope.  :-(

Nah, I was joking :) don't worry !
Probably because I have already proposing 1 new GUC and at least one
new column to pg_class recently. (and we're not used to change that

> Anyway, yes, I do believe we need a table-level statistic for the
> percentage of the visibility map bits that are believed to be set.
> Having said that I think we need it, let me also say that I'm a bit
> skeptical about how well it will work.  There are two problems:
> 1. Consider a query like "SELECT a, b FROM foo WHERE a = 1".  To
> accurately estimate the cost of executing this query via an index-only
> scan (on an index over foo (a, b)), we need to know (i) the percentage
> of rows in the table for which a = 1 and (ii) the percentage *of those
> rows* which are on an all-visible page.  We can assume that if 80% of
> the rows in the table are on all-visible pages, then 80% of the rows
> returned by this query will be on all-visible pages also, but that
> might be wildly wrong.  This is similar to the problem of costing
> "SELECT * FROM foo WHERE a = 1 AND b = 1" - we know the fraction of
> rows where a = 1 and the fraction where b = 1, but there's no
> certainty that multiplying those values will produce an accurate
> estimate for the conjunction of those conditions.  The problem here is
> not as bad as the general multi-column statistics problem because a
> mistake will only bollix the cost, not the row count estimate, but
> it's still not very nice.
> 2. Since VACUUM and ANALYZE often run together, we will be estimating
> the percentage of rows on all-visible pages just at the time when that
> percentage is highest.  This is not exactly wonderful, either...
> I have a fair amount of hope that even with these problems we can come
> up with some adjustment to the planner that is better than just
> ignoring the problem, but I am not sure how difficult it will be.
>>  * is it ok to parse VM for planning (I believe it is not) ?
> It doesn't seem like a good idea to me, but I just work here.  I'm not
> sure what that would buy us.

All true, and I won't be unhappy to have the feature as a bonus, not
expected by the planner(for the cost part) but handled by the

Cédric Villemain               2ndQuadrant
http://2ndQuadrant.fr/     PostgreSQL : Expertise, Formation et Support

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