Attributes in Execution plan


The first cost is the start-up cost of this node. The value here determines how much work is estimated to be done before the node produces its first row of output. Here, the value is zero because a Seq Scan node instantly produces rows.
The second estimated cost is the cost of running the entire node until it completes.


The number of rows to output if the node runs to completion.


This value provides an estimate of the average number of bytes each row output for the node will contain.

Forcing a plan

  • enable_seqscan
  • enable_indexscan
  • enable_sort
  • enable_nestloop
  • enable_hashjoin
  • enable_mergejoin
  • enable_tidscan
  • enable_hasagg

Operation Cost

Sort operator

select oid from pg_proc order by oid;
  1. Explicit: ORDER BY clause
  2. Implicit: Unique and other operators
  3. Has startup cosy: cannot return right away

Index Scan

select oid from pg_proc where oid=1;

Lower cost usually makes it preferred, especially on large tables.
Get one tuple pointer from index and get corresponding row from table.

BitMap Scan

A bitmap scan works in two phase.

  1. Scan the index to get all matched tuples to form a bitmap in memory before sort it, called bitmap index scan.
  2. Get row by pointers from tables before doing a index recheck, called bitmap heap scan

For the first phase, if the bitmap is too big(greater than work_mem) to fit into memory, PostgreSQL will work in a so called lossy mode to build a bitmap that contains only pages that cover those tuple pointers. When get tuple for case like this, PostgreSQL just fetch those matched pages instead of tuples. But this could involve some tuples that do not meet criterion. That is why Index Recheck will be used here.
But for query that is not lossy, the Index Recheck will appear even though there is no actual work for it. The Index Recheck is always appear even though the the bitmap is not lossy, and there is no actual work for it.

Result Operator

select oid from pg_proc where 1+1=3;
  1. Non­table queries
  2. Inside a WHERE clause (‘true’ vs. ‘false’)

Unique Operator

select distinct oid from pg_proc;
  1. Removes duplicate values from the input set
  2. Does not change ordering, simply fails to pass on duplicate rows
  3. Incoming set must be ordered (will force a Sort if needed)
  4. Two “cpu operations” per tuple cost
  5. Used with DISTINCT and UNION

Limit Operator

select oid from pg_proc limit 5;
  1. Rows will be equal to number specified
  2. Can return first row immediately
  3. Also handles offsets, with a small additional startup cost

Aggregate Operator

select count(*) from pg_proc;
  1. Used with count, sum, min, max, avg, sttdev, variance
  2. You may see differences when GROUP BY is used

GroupAggregate Operator

select count(*) from pg_bigtable group by oid;

Used with GROUP BY and some aggregates on larger result sets

Append Operator

select oid from pg_proc union all select oid from pg_proc;
  1. Triggered by UNION (ALL), inheritence
  2. No startup cost
  3. Cost is simply the sum of all inputs

Nested Loop Operator

select * 
from pg_bigtable inner join pg_namespace
on (pg_bigtable.pronamespace=pg_namespace.oid);
  1. Joins two tables (two input sets)
  3. Scans ‘outer’ table, finds matches in ‘inner’ table
  4. No startup cost
  5. Can lead to slow queries, especially when functions are in the select clause

Merge Joins

select relname,nspname 
from pg_class left join pg_namespace 
on (pg_class.relnamespace = pg_namespace.oid);
  1. Joins two sets: outer and an inner
  2. Merge Right Joins, Merge In Joins
  3. Sets must be pre­ordered (sorts), walk through both simultaneously

Hash & Hash Join

select relname, nspname 
from pg_class join pg_namespace 
on (pg_class.relnamespace=pg_namespace.oid);
  1. Compares two input sets by building hash tables
  2. Used with INNER JOIN
  3. Creating a hash incurs startup cost
  4. Generally more efficient than Nested Loop

Hash & Hash Left Join

select relname, nspname 
from pg_class left join pg_namespace 
on (pg_class.relnamespace=pg_namespace.oid);
  1. Similar to HASH / HASH JOIN
  2. Incurs a startup cost
  3. Used with LEFT JOIN

Subquery Scan

select oid from pg_proc union all select oid from pg_proc;
  1. Used with unions
  2. Generally not a significant problem

ctid Scan

select oid from pg_proc where ctid = '(0,1)';
  1. Column tuple ID
  2. Only used when “ctid=” appears in your query
  3. Very rare, very fast

Materialize Operator

The planner/optimizer may decide that it is less expensive to materialize a subselect once than to repeat the work for each top-level row. The Materialize operator is used for some subselect operations. Materialize will also be used for some merge-join operations. In particular, if the inner input set of a Merge Join operator is not produced by a Seq Scan, an Index Scan, a Sort, or a Materialize operator, the planner/optimizer will insert a Materialize operator into the plan.

Function Scan

 select * from foo(12);
  1. Seen when a function is gathering data
  2. Somewhat mysterious for troubleshooting
  3. Run explain on queries used inside function

SetOp Operators

select oid from pg_proc INTERSECT select oid from pg_proc;



13 April 2016