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Star Joins

P: n/a
I've got a database with a star schema and I'm kind of confused about
what the optimizer is doing with my queries. I've got a fact table
(about 24 M rows), which I'm joining to 3 dimensions. Each dimension
ID in the fact has it's own index.

No matter what I do, I've been unable to get the optimizer to choose a
star join (IXAND or the like). It always just picks one of the
dimensions and does a nested loop join and then HSJOINs in the rest.
To be clear the queries I've tried are like this:

select a.field, b.field, count(*)
from fact f, dim1 a, dim2 b, dim 3 c
where
f.dim1_key = a.dim1_key and
f.dim2_key = b.dim2_key and
f.dim3_key = c.dim3_key and
a.field like 'Data%' and
b.field like 'Data%' and
c.field like 'Data%'
group by a.field, b.field

The really odd-ball thing is that I've got another dimension, which has
absolutely no selectivity -- i.e. All the items in the fact are in a
single dimension. (I know this seems stupid, but it's a test
database). If I join in this dimension (in queries similar to the one
above), in many of my queries, the optimizer will actually choose this
dimension to drive the NLJOIN with the fact. How it could ever use
that dimension over anything else is beyond me as the result is
essentially a full table scan.

So, what I'm wondering is 2 things:

1) Can anyone point me to a good reference about how star joins work
or offer any advice regarding gettting the optimizer to use a star
join?
2) Does anyone have any idea why the optimizer would choose worst
possible index under any circumstances?

Oh, by the way, the stats are all up-to-date.

Thanks,
Greig Wise
DB2 DBA
Press Ganey Associates

Jun 5 '06 #1
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3 Replies


P: n/a
I'm following up my own message here. I've learned more. In regards
to the problem where the optimizer selects the dimension with only one
matching pair in the fact table, I think I understand what's going on
there. Although there's only one value for this particular dimension
in the fact table, there are actually 49 other records in the dimension
for which no facts exist. It seems that that the optimizer is assuming
2% selectivity since I'm selecting one of 50 records in the dimension
(even though the fact only has data for the one single value of that
dimension that I'm specifying in the where clause of the query).

To prove this is true to myself, I removed the other 49 records from
the dimension, reran stats and re-explained the query and indeed it no
longer used this index to drive the NLJOIN.

It seems strange that the optimizer would assume a totally even
distribution of a dimension within a fact like that. Is that what it's
really doing or am I missing something? It seems pretty odd,
especially since I've run stats with distrubution I'd think the
optimizer would be able to tell that the dimension wasn't evenly
distributed in the fact table.

Any information would be helpful.

Thanks,
Greig Wise
gw***@pressganey.com wrote:
I've got a database with a star schema and I'm kind of confused about
what the optimizer is doing with my queries. I've got a fact table
(about 24 M rows), which I'm joining to 3 dimensions. Each dimension
ID in the fact has it's own index.

No matter what I do, I've been unable to get the optimizer to choose a
star join (IXAND or the like). It always just picks one of the
dimensions and does a nested loop join and then HSJOINs in the rest.
To be clear the queries I've tried are like this:

select a.field, b.field, count(*)
from fact f, dim1 a, dim2 b, dim 3 c
where
f.dim1_key = a.dim1_key and
f.dim2_key = b.dim2_key and
f.dim3_key = c.dim3_key and
a.field like 'Data%' and
b.field like 'Data%' and
c.field like 'Data%'
group by a.field, b.field

The really odd-ball thing is that I've got another dimension, which has
absolutely no selectivity -- i.e. All the items in the fact are in a
single dimension. (I know this seems stupid, but it's a test
database). If I join in this dimension (in queries similar to the one
above), in many of my queries, the optimizer will actually choose this
dimension to drive the NLJOIN with the fact. How it could ever use
that dimension over anything else is beyond me as the result is
essentially a full table scan.

So, what I'm wondering is 2 things:

1) Can anyone point me to a good reference about how star joins work
or offer any advice regarding gettting the optimizer to use a star
join?
2) Does anyone have any idea why the optimizer would choose worst
possible index under any circumstances?

Oh, by the way, the stats are all up-to-date.

Thanks,
Greig Wise
DB2 DBA
Press Ganey Associates


Jun 6 '06 #2

P: n/a
gw***@pressganey.com wrote:
I'm following up my own message here. I've learned more. In regards
to the problem where the optimizer selects the dimension with only one
matching pair in the fact table, I think I understand what's going on
there. Although there's only one value for this particular dimension
in the fact table, there are actually 49 other records in the dimension
for which no facts exist. It seems that that the optimizer is assuming
2% selectivity since I'm selecting one of 50 records in the dimension
(even though the fact only has data for the one single value of that
dimension that I'm specifying in the where clause of the query).

To prove this is true to myself, I removed the other 49 records from
the dimension, reran stats and re-explained the query and indeed it no
longer used this index to drive the NLJOIN.

It seems strange that the optimizer would assume a totally even
distribution of a dimension within a fact like that. Is that what it's
really doing or am I missing something? It seems pretty odd,
especially since I've run stats with distrubution I'd think the
optimizer would be able to tell that the dimension wasn't evenly
distributed in the fact table.

Any information would be helpful.

Thanks,
Greig Wise
gw***@pressganey.com wrote:
I've got a database with a star schema and I'm kind of confused about
what the optimizer is doing with my queries. I've got a fact table
(about 24 M rows), which I'm joining to 3 dimensions. Each dimension
ID in the fact has it's own index.

No matter what I do, I've been unable to get the optimizer to choose a
star join (IXAND or the like). It always just picks one of the
dimensions and does a nested loop join and then HSJOINs in the rest.
To be clear the queries I've tried are like this:

select a.field, b.field, count(*)
from fact f, dim1 a, dim2 b, dim 3 c
where
f.dim1_key = a.dim1_key and
f.dim2_key = b.dim2_key and
f.dim3_key = c.dim3_key and
a.field like 'Data%' and
b.field like 'Data%' and
c.field like 'Data%'
group by a.field, b.field

The really odd-ball thing is that I've got another dimension, which has
absolutely no selectivity -- i.e. All the items in the fact are in a
single dimension. (I know this seems stupid, but it's a test
database). If I join in this dimension (in queries similar to the one
above), in many of my queries, the optimizer will actually choose this
dimension to drive the NLJOIN with the fact. How it could ever use
that dimension over anything else is beyond me as the result is
essentially a full table scan.

So, what I'm wondering is 2 things:

1) Can anyone point me to a good reference about how star joins work
or offer any advice regarding gettting the optimizer to use a star
join?
2) Does anyone have any idea why the optimizer would choose worst
possible index under any circumstances?

Oh, by the way, the stats are all up-to-date.

... but which stats did you run?

--
Serge Rielau
DB2 Solutions Development
IBM Toronto Lab

IOD Conference
http://www.ibm.com/software/data/ond...ness/conf2006/
Jun 6 '06 #3

P: n/a
I did runstats on table with distribution and detailed indexes all for
every table in the database.

Greig

Serge Rielau wrote:
Oh, by the way, the stats are all up-to-date.

.. but which stats did you run?

--
Serge Rielau
DB2 Solutions Development
IBM Toronto Lab

IOD Conference
http://www.ibm.com/software/data/ond...ness/conf2006/


Jun 7 '06 #4

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