Pryscila B Guttoski wrote:
On my master course, I'm studying the PostgreSQL's optimizer.
I don't know if anyone in this list have been participated from the PostgreSQL's Optimizer development, but maybe someone can help me on this question.

pgsql-hackers might be more appropriate.

PostgreSQL generates all possible plans of executing the query (using an almost exhaustive search), then gives a cost to each plan and finally the cheapest one is selected for execution. There are other methods for query optimization, one of them is based on plan transformations (for example, using A-Star algorithm) instead of plan constructions used by PostgreSQL.

Right, the main query planner uses a nearly-exhaustive search. For queries with many joins (when the cost of an exhaustive search would be prohibitive), "GEQO" is used, which uses a genetic algorithm to avoid an exhaustive search of the solution space.

Does anyone know why this method was choosen?

As far as I know, the main planner algorithm is fairly standard and is mainly different from System R's canonical algorithm in the details, like whether non-left-deep plans are pruned.

Are there any papers or researches about it?

There are many papers on the System R algorithm and similar techniques, which should explain the basic motivations for the design. I'm not aware of any papers specifically on the PostgreSQL query optimizer, although there have been a few presentations on it:


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TIP 9: In versions below 8.0, the planner will ignore your desire to
      choose an index scan if your joining column's datatypes do not

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