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Trying to get postgres to use an index

P: n/a

Hi,

I'm using PostgreSQL 8.

I have two tables that I am doing a join on, and the join executes very
slowly.

The table called Notification has a text field called NotificationID,
which is its primary key. The Notification table also has an int4 field
called ItemID, and it has an index on the ItemID field. The table
called Item has an int4 field called ItemID, which is its primary key.
If I do a simple select on Notification using just the ItemID field, the
index is used...

explain select notificationID from NOTIFICATION n where n.itemID = 12;
QUERY PLAN

------------------------------------------------------------------------
---------------------
Index Scan using notification_4_idx on notification n
(cost=0.00..129.22 rows=57 width=44)
Index Cond: (itemid = 12)

This query runs in far less than one second.

But if I do a join, the index isn't used...

explain select notificationID from NOTIFICATION n, ITEM i where
n.itemID = i.itemID;
QUERY PLAN

------------------------------------------------------------------------
------
Hash Join (cost=47162.85..76291.32 rows=223672 width=44)
Hash Cond: ("outer".itemid = "inner".itemid)
-> Seq Scan on notification n (cost=0.00..12023.71 rows=223671
width=48)
-> Hash (cost=42415.28..42415.28 rows=741028 width=4)
-> Seq Scan on item i (cost=0.00..42415.28 rows=741028
width=4)

This query takes about 20 seconds to run.
I have run "vacuum analyze", and it didn't make any difference.

I've seen people say that sometimes the query optimizer will decide to
not use an index if it thinks that doing a sequential scan would be
faster. I don't know if that's what's happening here, but it seems to
me that using the index should be much faster than the performance I'm
getting here.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to make this query run faster?

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Nov 23 '05 #1
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8 Replies


P: n/a
On Sat, 06 Nov 2004 12:00:02 -0800, Mike Wertheim wrote:
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to make this query run faster?


Does it help if you decrease the value of random_page_cost? - That value
can be changed run-time, from within psql. If you find that a certain,
lower value helps, you can make it permanent in postgresql.conf.

--
Greetings from Troels Arvin, Copenhagen, Denmark

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TIP 9: the planner will ignore your desire to choose an index scan if your
joining column's datatypes do not match

Nov 23 '05 #2

P: n/a
> explain select notificationID from NOTIFICATION n, ITEM i where
n.itemID = i.itemID;
QUERY PLAN

------------------------------------------------------------------------
------
Hash Join (cost=47162.85..76291.32 rows=223672 width=44)
Hash Cond: ("outer".itemid = "inner".itemid)
-> Seq Scan on notification n (cost=0.00..12023.71 rows=223671
width=48)
-> Hash (cost=42415.28..42415.28 rows=741028 width=4)
-> Seq Scan on item i (cost=0.00..42415.28 rows=741028
width=4)

This query takes about 20 seconds to run.


Well, you're joining the entire two tables, so yes, the seq scan might be
faster.
Try your query with enable_seqscan=0 so it'll use an index scan and
compare the times.
You may be surprised to find that the planner has indeed made the right
choice.
This query selects 223672 rows, are you surprised it's slow ?

What are you trying to do with this query ? Is it executed often ?
If you want to select only a subset of this, use an additional where
condition and the planner will use the index.

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Nov 23 '05 #3

P: n/a
At 10:11 PM +0100 11/6/04, Pierre-Frédéric Caillaud wrote:
explain select notificationID from NOTIFICATION n, ITEM i where
n.itemID = i.itemID;
QUERY PLAN

------------------------------------------------------------------------
------
Hash Join (cost=47162.85..76291.32 rows=223672 width=44)
Hash Cond: ("outer".itemid = "inner".itemid)
-> Seq Scan on notification n (cost=0.00..12023.71 rows=223671
width=48)
-> Hash (cost=42415.28..42415.28 rows=741028 width=4)
-> Seq Scan on item i (cost=0.00..42415.28 rows=741028
width=4)

This query takes about 20 seconds to run.


Well, you're joining the entire two
tables, so yes, the seq scan might be faster.
Try your query with enable_seqscan=0 so
it'll use an index scan and compare the times.
You may be surprised to find that the
planner has indeed made the right choice.
This query selects 223672 rows, are you surprised it's slow ?


I'm not a SQL guru by any stretch but would a
constrained sub-select be appropriate here?

e.g. a simple test setup where each record in
table test1 has a FK referenced to an entry in
test:

joels=# \d test
Table "public.test"
Column | Type | Modifiers
--------+--------------+-----------
id | integer | not null
foo | character(3) |
Indexes:
"test_pkey" primary key, btree (id)

joels=# \d test1
Table "public.test1"
Column | Type | Modifiers
---------+---------+-----------
id | integer | not null
test_id | integer |
Indexes:
"test1_pkey" primary key, btree (id)
"test1_test_id_idx" btree (test_id)
Foreign-key constraints:
"$1" FOREIGN KEY (test_id) REFERENCES test(id) ON DELETE CASCADE

joels=# select count(*) from test;
count
-------
10001
(1 row)

joels=# select count(*) from test1;
count
-------
10001
(1 row)

joels=# explain select test_id from test1 t1, test t where t1.test_id =t.id;
QUERY PLAN
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hash Join (cost=170.01..495.05 rows=10002 width=4)
Hash Cond: ("outer".test_id = "inner".id)
-> Seq Scan on test1 t1 (cost=0.00..150.01 rows=10001 width=4)
-> Hash (cost=145.01..145.01 rows=10001 width=4)
-> Seq Scan on test t (cost=0.00..145.01 rows=10001 width=4)
(5 rows)

joels=# explain select test_id from test1 t1
where test_id in (select id from test where id =
t1.test_id);
QUERY PLAN
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Seq Scan on test1 t1 (cost=0.00..15269.02 rows=5001 width=4)
Filter: (subplan)
SubPlan
-> Index Scan using test_pkey on test (cost=0.00..3.01 rows=2 width=4)
Index Cond: (id = $0)
(5 rows)
So with the subselect the query planner would use
the primary key index on test when finding
referencing records in the test1 table.

Pierre, I seen the advice to use an additional
where condition in certain cases to induce an
index scan; how is this done?

my 1.2 pennies,
-Joel

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TIP 7: don't forget to increase your free space map settings

Nov 23 '05 #4

P: n/a
I'm not a SQL guru by any stretch but would a
constrained sub-select be appropriate here? Well, you're joining the entire two tables, so yes, the seq scan might
be faster.


My mistake! When composing the email to state the problem, I accidentally
gave a wrong version of the join query.

Here is the corrected version, which still has the sequential scan...

explain select notificationID from NOTIFICATION n, ITEM i where n.itemID
= i.itemID and i.projectID = 12;
QUERY PLAN
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
-----------------------
Hash Join (cost=2237.54..15382.32 rows=271 width=44)
Hash Cond: ("outer".itemid = "inner".itemid)
-> Seq Scan on notification n (cost=0.00..12023.71 rows=223671
width=48)
-> Hash (cost=2235.31..2235.31 rows=895 width=4)
-> Index Scan using item_ix_item_4_idx on item i
(cost=0.00..2235.31 rows=895width=4)
Index Cond: (projectid = 12)

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Nov 23 '05 #5

P: n/a
<mi***********@linkify.com> writes:
Here is the corrected version, which still has the sequential scan... explain select notificationID from NOTIFICATION n, ITEM i where n.itemID
= i.itemID and i.projectID = 12;
QUERY PLAN
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
-----------------------
Hash Join (cost=2237.54..15382.32 rows=271 width=44)
Hash Cond: ("outer".itemid = "inner".itemid)
-> Seq Scan on notification n (cost=0.00..12023.71 rows=223671
width=48)
-> Hash (cost=2235.31..2235.31 rows=895 width=4)
-> Index Scan using item_ix_item_4_idx on item i
(cost=0.00..2235.31 rows=895width=4)
Index Cond: (projectid = 12)


This seems like a perfectly fine plan to me. If it were turned around
into a nested indexscan as you suggest, there would need to be 895
indexscans of NOTIFICATION (one for each row retrieved from ITEM)
and from your original mail we can see the planner thinks that an
indexscan on NOTIFICATION will take about 129 cost units, for a total
cost of 129 * 895 = 115455 units (and that's not counting the indexscan
on ITEM nor any join overhead). So at least according to these
estimates, using the index would take 10x more time than this plan.

If you want to see whether this costing is accurate, you could do
EXPLAIN ANALYZE for this way and the other (I expect that you'd get the
other if you did "set enable_seqscan = off"). But with a 10x
discrepancy I suspect the planner probably did the right thing.

regards, tom lane

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Nov 23 '05 #6

P: n/a
Well, you're joining the entire two tables, so yes, the seq scan might
be faster.


My mistake. When composing the email to state the problem, I accidentally
gave a wrong versionof the join query.

Here is the corrected version, which still has the sequential scan...

explain select notificationID from NOTIFICATION n, ITEM i where n.itemID
= i.itemID andi.projectID = 12;
QUERY PLAN
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hash Join (cost=2237.54..15382.32 rows=271 width=44)
Hash Cond: ("outer".itemid = "inner".itemid)
-> Seq Scan on notification n (cost=0.00..12023.71 rows=223671 width=48)
-> Hash (cost=2235.31..2235.31 rows=895 width=4)
-> Index Scan using item_ix_item_4_idx on item i
(cost=0.00..2235.31 rows=895width=4)
Index Cond: (projectid = 12)


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TIP 7: don't forget to increase your free space map settings

Nov 23 '05 #7

P: n/a
I have some more info on my indexing situation, and a new question.

In my previous email, I told about 2 tables: Notification and Item,
which join on a field called ItemID. The joining query didn't execute
as quickly as I thought it should. I now notice that I have another
table, Folder, which joins with Item in a similar way, and the
performance of that join is excellent.

So my new questions is... What makes the Folder join faster than the
Notification join?
Here is some info on the tables, queries, and "explain analyze"
output...

Item's primary key is ItemID (int4).
Folder's primary key is ItemID (int4). Folder also contains 4 varchar
columns, 2 text columns, 6 bool columns, 7 datetime columns and 1 int4
column.
Notification has an index on its ItemID (int4) field. Notification also
contains 7 text columns (1 of them being the primary key), 3 timestamp
columns and 4 int4 columns.

Folder and Notification have a similar number of rows. "select count(*)
from folder" returns 193043. "select count(*) from notification"
returns 223689.
The first query is: "select count(*) from FOLDER f, ITEM i where
f.itemID = i.itemID and i.projectid=7720". This query returns the
result "5" and executes in less than 1 second.

The second query is: "select count(*) from NOTIFICATION n, ITEM i where
n.itemID = i.itemID and i.projectid=7720". This query returns the
result "2" and executes in about 40 seconds.
Here's the "explain analyze" output...

The Folder query uses the indexes:
explain analyze select count(*) from FOLDER f, ITEM i where f.itemID =
i.itemID and i.projectid=7720; Aggregate (cost=6371.88..6371.88
rows=1 width=0) (actual time=83.557..83.558 rows=1 loops=1)
-> Nested Loop (cost=0.00..6371.31 rows=227 width=0) (actual
time=17.929..83.502 rows=5 loops=1)
-> Index Scan using item_ix_item_4_idx on item i
(cost=0.00..2105.51 rows=869 width=4) (actual time=0.098..19.409 rows=51
loops=1)
Index Cond: (projectid = 7720)
-> Index Scan using folder_pkey on folder f (cost=0.00..4.90
rows=1 width=4) (actual time=1.255..1.255 rows=0 loops=51)
Index Cond: (f.itemid = "outer".itemid)
Total runtime: 92.185 ms
The Notification query does a sequential scan on Notification:
explain analyze select count(*) from NOTIFICATION n, ITEM i where
n.itemID = i.itemID and i.projectid=7720;
Aggregate (cost=38732.31..38732.31 rows=1 width=0) (actual
time=40380.497..40380.498 rows=1 loops=1)
-> Hash Join (cost=2107.69..38731.65 rows=263 width=0) (actual
time=36341.174..40380.447 rows=2 loops=1)
Hash Cond: ("outer".itemid = "inner".itemid)
-> Seq Scan on notification n (cost=0.00..35502.89
rows=223689 width=4) (actual time=8289.236..40255.341 rows=223689
loops=1)
-> Hash (cost=2105.51..2105.51 rows=869 width=4) (actual
time=0.177..0.177 rows=0 loops=1)
-> Index Scan using item_ix_item_4_idx on item i
(cost=0.00..2105.51 rows=869 width=4) (actual time=0.025..0.127 rows=51
loops=1)
Index Cond: (projectid = 7720)
Total runtime: 40380.657 ms
So my question is... What difference do you see between the Folder and
Notification tables that would account for such a big difference in
query performance? And how can I make the Notification query run about
as fast as the Folder query?

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TIP 8: explain analyze is your friend

Nov 23 '05 #8

P: n/a
Firstly, check that all your columns are actually of the same type and
the indexes are where you say they are. Using \d will show this.
Secondly, if you do the EXPLAIN ANALYZE with "set enable_seqscan=off",
what is the output?

Hope this helps,

On Tue, Nov 09, 2004 at 05:02:01PM -0800, Mike Wertheim wrote:
I have some more info on my indexing situation, and a new question.

In my previous email, I told about 2 tables: Notification and Item,
which join on a field called ItemID. The joining query didn't execute
as quickly as I thought it should. I now notice that I have another
table, Folder, which joins with Item in a similar way, and the
performance of that join is excellent.

So my new questions is... What makes the Folder join faster than the
Notification join?


Here is some info on the tables, queries, and "explain analyze"
output...

Item's primary key is ItemID (int4).
Folder's primary key is ItemID (int4). Folder also contains 4 varchar
columns, 2 text columns, 6 bool columns, 7 datetime columns and 1 int4
column.
Notification has an index on its ItemID (int4) field. Notification also
contains 7 text columns (1 of them being the primary key), 3 timestamp
columns and 4 int4 columns.

Folder and Notification have a similar number of rows. "select count(*)
from folder" returns 193043. "select count(*) from notification"
returns 223689.


The first query is: "select count(*) from FOLDER f, ITEM i where
f.itemID = i.itemID and i.projectid=7720". This query returns the
result "5" and executes in less than 1 second.

The second query is: "select count(*) from NOTIFICATION n, ITEM i where
n.itemID = i.itemID and i.projectid=7720". This query returns the
result "2" and executes in about 40 seconds.


Here's the "explain analyze" output...

The Folder query uses the indexes:
explain analyze select count(*) from FOLDER f, ITEM i where f.itemID =
i.itemID and i.projectid=7720; Aggregate (cost=6371.88..6371.88
rows=1 width=0) (actual time=83.557..83.558 rows=1 loops=1)
-> Nested Loop (cost=0.00..6371.31 rows=227 width=0) (actual
time=17.929..83.502 rows=5 loops=1)
-> Index Scan using item_ix_item_4_idx on item i
(cost=0.00..2105.51 rows=869 width=4) (actual time=0.098..19.409 rows=51
loops=1)
Index Cond: (projectid = 7720)
-> Index Scan using folder_pkey on folder f (cost=0.00..4.90
rows=1 width=4) (actual time=1.255..1.255 rows=0 loops=51)
Index Cond: (f.itemid = "outer".itemid)
Total runtime: 92.185 ms


The Notification query does a sequential scan on Notification:
explain analyze select count(*) from NOTIFICATION n, ITEM i where
n.itemID = i.itemID and i.projectid=7720;
Aggregate (cost=38732.31..38732.31 rows=1 width=0) (actual
time=40380.497..40380.498 rows=1 loops=1)
-> Hash Join (cost=2107.69..38731.65 rows=263 width=0) (actual
time=36341.174..40380.447 rows=2 loops=1)
Hash Cond: ("outer".itemid = "inner".itemid)
-> Seq Scan on notification n (cost=0.00..35502.89
rows=223689 width=4) (actual time=8289.236..40255.341 rows=223689
loops=1)
-> Hash (cost=2105.51..2105.51 rows=869 width=4) (actual
time=0.177..0.177 rows=0 loops=1)
-> Index Scan using item_ix_item_4_idx on item i
(cost=0.00..2105.51 rows=869 width=4) (actual time=0.025..0.127 rows=51
loops=1)
Index Cond: (projectid = 7720)
Total runtime: 40380.657 ms


So my question is... What difference do you see between the Folder and
Notification tables that would account for such a big difference in
query performance? And how can I make the Notification query run about
as fast as the Folder query?



---------------------------(end of broadcast)---------------------------
TIP 8: explain analyze is your friend
--
Martijn van Oosterhout <kl*****@svana.org> http://svana.org/kleptog/ Patent. n. Genius is 5% inspiration and 95% perspiration. A patent is a
tool for doing 5% of the work and then sitting around waiting for someone
else to do the other 95% so you can sue them.


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Nov 23 '05 #9

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