Robert Haas <> wrote:
On Thu, Jul 27, 2017 at 10:05 PM, Peter Geoghegan <> wrote:
I really don't know if that would be worthwhile. It would certainly fix
the regression shown in my test case, but that might not go far enough.
I strongly suspect that there are more complicated workloads where
LP_DEAD cleanup from SELECT statements matters, which is prevented by
the LSN check thing, just because there are always other sessions that
modify the page concurrently. This might be true of Alik's Zipfian test
case, for example.

I haven't studied the test case, but I think as a general principle it
makes sense to be happy when someone comes up with an algorithm that
holds a lock for a shorter period of time (and buffer pins are a type
of lock).  There are a number of places (fast-path locking, for
example, or vacuum skipping pinned heap pages) where we have
fast-paths that get taken most of the time and slow paths that get
used when concurrent activity happens; empirically, such things often
work out to a win.  I think it's disturbing that this code seems to be
taking the slow-path (which, in context, means skipping LP_DEAD
cleanup) even there is no concurrent activity.  That's hard to

That is hard to justify. I don't think that failing to set LP_DEAD hints
is the cost that must be paid to realize a benefit elsewhere, though. I
don't see much problem with having both benefits consistently. It's
actually very unlikely that VACUUM will run, and a TID will be recycled
at exactly the wrong time. We could probably come up with a more
discriminating way of detecting that that may have happened, at least
for Postgres 11. We'd continue to use LSN; the slow path would be taken
when the LSN changed, but we do not give up on setting LP_DEAD bits. I
think we can justify going to the heap again in this slow path, if
that's what it takes.

But the fact that it is taking the slow-path when there *is*
concurrent activity is harder to complain about.  That might win or it
might lose; the non-concurrent case only loses.

Let's wait to see what difference it makes if Alik's zipfian
distribution pgbench test case uses unlogged tables. That may gives us a
good sense of the problem for cases with contention/concurrency.

Peter Geoghegan

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