I wrote:
> Arjen van der Meijden <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> writes:
>> data_main AS dm,
>> postcodes AS p
>> WHERE dm.range BETWEEN p.range_from AND p.range_till

> Planner error ... because it doesn't have any good way to estimate the
> number of matching rows, it thinks that way is a bit more expensive than
> data_main as the outside, but in reality it seems a good deal cheaper:

BTW, it would get the right answer if it had recognized the WHERE clause
as a range restriction --- it still doesn't know exactly what fraction
of rows will match, but its default estimate is a great deal tighter for
"WHERE x > something AND x < somethingelse" than it is for two unrelated
inequality constraints.  Enough tighter that it would have gone for the
correct plan.

The problem is that it doesn't recognize the WHERE as a range constraint
on dm.range.  I thought for a moment that this might be a
recently-introduced bug, but actually the code is operating as designed:
clauselist_selectivity says

         * See if it looks like a restriction clause with a pseudoconstant
         * on one side.  (Anything more complicated than that might not
         * behave in the simple way we are expecting.)

"Pseudoconstant" in this context means "a constant, parameter symbol, or
non-volatile functions of these" ... so comparisons against values from
another table don't qualify.  It seems like we're missing a bet though.

Can anyone suggest a more general rule?  Do we need for example to
consider whether the relation membership is the same in two clauses
that might be opposite sides of a range restriction?  It seems like

        a.x > b.y AND a.x < b.z

probably can be treated as a range restriction on a.x for this purpose,
but I'm much less sure that the same is true of

        a.x > b.y AND a.x < c.z


                        regards, tom lane

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