On 01/17/2017 08:05 PM, Antonin Houska wrote:
[ Trying to respond to both Tomas and David. I'll check tomorrow if anything
else of the thread needs my comment. ]

Tomas Vondra <tomas.von...@2ndquadrant.com> wrote:

On 01/17/2017 12:42 AM, David Rowley wrote:
On 10 January 2017 at 06:56, Antonin Houska <a...@cybertec.at> wrote:

I've been thinking about this aggtransmultifn and I'm not sure if it's
really needed. Adding a whole series of new transition functions is
quite a pain. At least I think so, and I have a feeling Robert might
agree with me.

Let's imagine some worst case (and somewhat silly) aggregate query:

SELECT count(*)
FROM million_row_table
CROSS JOIN another_million_row_table;

Today that's going to cause 1 TRILLION transitions! Performance will
be terrible.

If we pushed the aggregate down into one of those tables and performed
a Partial Aggregate on that, then a Finalize Aggregate on that single
row result (after the join), then that's 1 million transfn calls, and
1 million combinefn calls, one for each row produced by the join.

If we did it your way (providing I understand your proposal correctly)
there's 1 million transfn calls on one relation, then 1 million on the
other and then 1 multiplyfn call. which does 1000000 * 1000000

What did we save vs. using the existing aggcombinefn infrastructure
which went into 9.6? Using this actually costs us 1 extra function
call, right? I'd imagine the size of the patch to use aggcombinefn
instead would be a fraction of the size of the one which included all
the new aggmultiplyfns and pg_aggregate.h changes.

I think the patch relies on the assumption that the grouping reduces


so a CROSS JOIN without a GROUP BY clause may not be the best

Yet it tells me that my approach is not ideal in some cases ...

It sounds like a much more manageable project by using aggcombinefn
instead. Then maybe one day when we can detect if a join did not cause
any result duplication (i.e Unique Joins), we could finalise the
aggregates on the first call, and completely skip the combine state

I don't quite see how the patch could use aggcombinefn without sacrificing a
lot of the benefits. Sure, it's possible to run the aggcombinefn in a loop
(with number of iterations determined by the group size on the other side of
the join), but that sounds pretty expensive and eliminates the reduction of
transition function calls. The join cardinality would still be reduced,

That's what I think. The generic case is that neither side of the join is
unique. If it appears that both relations should be aggregated below the join,
aggcombinefn would have to be called multiple times on each output row of the
join to achieve the same result as the calling aggmultiplyfn.

I do have other question about the patch, however. It seems to rely on the
fact that the grouping and joins both reference the same columns. I wonder how
uncommon such queries are.

To give a reasonable example, imagine the typical start schema, which is
pretty standard for large analytical databases. A dimension table is
"products" and the fact table is "sales", and the schema might look like this:

CREATE TABLE products (
    id            SERIAL PRIMARY KEY,
    name          TEXT,
    category_id   INT,
    producer_id   INT

    product_id    REFERENCES products (id),
    nitems        INT,
    price         NUMERIC

A typical query then looks like this:

    SELECT category_id, SUM(nitems), SUM(price)
    FROM products p JOIN sales s ON (p.id = s.product_id)
    GROUP BY p.category_id;

which obviously uses different columns for the grouping and join, and so the
patch won't help with that. Of course, a query grouping by product_id would
allow the patch to work

Right, the current version does not handle this. Thanks for suggestion.

So you're saying it's merely a limitation of the initial patch version and not an inherent limitation?

Another thing is that in my experience most queries do joins on foreign keys
(so the PK side is unique by definition), so the benefit on practical examples
is likely much smaller.

ok. So in some cases the David's approach might be better.

In which cases would David's approach be more efficient? But even if there are such cases, I assume we could generate both paths and decide based on cost, just like with all other alternative paths.

However I think the ability to join 2 grouped (originally non-unique)
relations is still important. Consider a query involving "sales" as well as
another table which also has many-to-one relationship to "products".

Well, can you give a practical example? What you describe seems like a combination of two fact tables + a dimension, something like this:

CREATE TABLE products (
    id            SERIAL PRIMARY KEY,
    name          TEXT,
    category_id   INT,
    producer_id   INT

    product_id    REFERENCES products (id),
    nitems        INT,
    price         NUMERIC

CREATE TABLE reviews (
    product_id    REFERENCES products (id),
    stars         INT

But how exactly do you join that together? Because

    SELECT * FROM products p JOIN sales s ON (p.id = s.product_id)
                             JOIN reviews r ON (p.id = r.product_id)

is clearly wrong - it's essentially M:N join between the two fact tables, increasing the number of rows.

It'd helpful to have an example of a practical query optimized by the patch. I'm not claiming it does not exist, but I've been unable to come up with something reasonable at the moment.

But I guess my main question is if there are actual examples of queries the
patch is trying to improve, or whether the general benefit is allowing
parallel plans for queries where it would not be possible otherwise.

In fact I did all this with postgres_fdw in mind.

I assume there's not much difference between pushing down aggregates to local workers and to remote nodes. There'll be costing differences, but are there any other differences?

From this perspective, David's approach can be slightly more efficient if all
the tables are local, but aggregation of multiple base relations below the
join can save a lot of effort if the tables are remote (as it reduces the
amount of data transferred over network).

I'm not terribly happy about changing the system catalog, but adding something
like pg_aggregate(aggtransmultifn) is currently the best idea I have.

I personally don't see that as a major problem, my impression it can be mostly copied from the partial aggregate patch - it's not trivial, but manageable. Propagating it to the optimizer will be less trivial, but well, if it's necessary ...


Tomas Vondra                  http://www.2ndQuadrant.com
PostgreSQL Development, 24x7 Support, Remote DBA, Training & Services

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