On Wed, Feb 15, 2017 at 2:33 AM, Amit Khandekar <amitdkhan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> The only reason I combined the soft limit and the hard limit is
> because it is not necessary to have two different fields. But of
> course this is again under the assumption that allocating more than
> parallel_workers would never improve the speed, in fact it can even
> slow it down.

That could be true in extreme cases, but in general I think it's probably false.

> Do we have such a case currently where the actual number of workers
> launched turns out to be *more* than Path->parallel_workers ?


>> For example, suppose that I have a scan of two children, one
>> of which has parallel_workers of 4, and the other of which has
>> parallel_workers of 3.  If I pick parallel_workers of 7 for the
>> Parallel Append, that's probably too high.  Had those two tables been
>> a single unpartitioned table, I would have picked 4 or 5 workers, not
>> 7.  On the other hand, if I pick parallel_workers of 4 or 5 for the
>> Parallel Append, and I finish with the larger table first, I think I
>> might as well throw all 4 of those workers at the smaller table even
>> though it would normally have only used 3 workers.
>> Having the extra 1-2 workers exit does not seem better.
> It is here, where I didn't understand exactly why would we want to
> assign these extra workers to a subplan which tells use that it is
> already being run by 'parallel_workers' number of workers.

The decision to use fewer workers for a smaller scan isn't really
because we think that using more workers will cause a regression.
It's because we think it may not help very much, and because it's not
worth firing up a ton of workers for a relatively small scan given
that workers are a limited resource.  I think once we've got a bunch
of workers started, we might as well try to use them.

Robert Haas
EnterpriseDB: http://www.enterprisedb.com
The Enterprise PostgreSQL Company

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