On Tue, Mar 28, 2017 at 1:13 AM, Mithun Cy <mithun...@enterprisedb.com> wrote:
> B. In tuple sort we can use hash function bucket = hash_key %
> num_buckets instead of existing one which does bitwise "and" to
> determine the bucket of hash key. This way we will not wrongly assign
> buckets beyond max_buckets and sorted hash keys will be in sync with
> actual insertion order of _hash_doinsert.

I think approach B is incorrect.  Suppose we have 1536 buckets and
hash values 2048, 2049, 4096, 4097, 6144, 6145, 8192, and 8193.  If I
understand correctly, each of these values should be mapped either to
bucket 0 or to bucket 1, and the goal of the sort is to put all of the
bucket 0 tuples before all of the bucket 1 tuples, so that we get
physical locality when inserting.  With approach A, the sort keys will
match the bucket numbers -- we'll be sorting the list 0, 1, 0, 1, 0,
1, 0, 1 -- and we will end up doing all of the inserts to bucket 0
before any of the inserts to bucket 1.  With approach B, we'll be
sorting 512, 513, 1024, 1025, 0, 1, 512, 513 and will end up
alternating inserts to bucket 0 with inserts to bucket 1.

To put that another way, see this comment at the top of hashsort.c:

 * When building a very large hash index, we pre-sort the tuples by bucket
 * number to improve locality of access to the index, and thereby avoid
 * thrashing.  We use tuplesort.c to sort the given index tuples into order.

So, you can't just decide to sort on a random number, which is what
approach B effectively does.  Or, you can, but it completely misses
the point of sorting in the first place.

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

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