Victor Ciurus <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> writes:
> What I am requested to do is to keep all records from 'BIGMA' that do
> not apear in 'DIRTY'
> So far I have tried solving this by going for:

> [explain] select * from BIGMA where string not in (select * from DIRTY);
>                                QUERY PLAN
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>  Seq Scan on bigma  (cost=0.00..24582291.25 rows=500 width=145)
>    Filter: (NOT (subplan))
>    SubPlan
>      ->  Seq Scan on dirty  (cost=0.00..42904.63 rows=2503963 width=82)
> (4 rows)

If you are using PG 7.4, you can get reasonable performance out of this
approach, but you need to jack sort_mem up to the point where the whole
DIRTY table will fit into sort_mem (so that you get a hashed-subplan
plan and not a plain subplan).  If you find yourself setting sort_mem to
more than say half of your machine's available RAM, you should probably
forget that idea.

> [explain] select * from bigma,dirty where!;

This of course does not give the right answer at all.

A trick that people sometimes use is an outer join:

select * from bigma left join dirty on (
where is null;

Understanding why this works is left as an exercise for the reader
... but it does work, and pretty well too.  If you're using pre-7.4
PG then this is about the only effective solution AFAIR.

                        regards, tom lane

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