Chapter 2 Traditional Query Optimization


    This chapter sets the stage for the work covered in the rest of the thesis. Section 2.1 gives a brief overview of the important concerns and prior work in traditional query optimization. Section 2.2 describes the design and implementation of a query optimizer. Later chapters of this thesis build on the framework described in this section. In this section, we provide a broad overview of the main issues involved in traditional query optimization and mention some of the representative work in the area. This discussion will be kept very brief; for the details we point to the comprehensive, very readable survey by Chaudhuri [7]. Traditionally, the core applications of database systems have been online transaction processing (OLTP) environments like banking, sales, etc. The queries in such an environment are simple, involving a small number of relations, say three to five. For such simple queries, the investment in sophisticated optimization usually did not pay up in the performance gain. As such, only join-order optimization and that too in a constrained search space was effective enough. The seminal paper by Selinger et al. [47] presented a dynamic programming algorithm for searching optimal left-linear join ordered plans. The ideas presented in this paper formed the basis of most optimization research and commercial development till a few years back. However, with the growing importance of online analytical processing (OLAP) environments, which routinely involve expensive queries, more sophisticated query optimization techniques have become crucial. In order to be effective in such demanding environments, the optimizers need to look at less constrained search spaces without loosing much on efficiency. They need to adapt to new operators, new implementations of these operators and their cost models, changes in cost estimation techniques, etc. This calls for extensibility in the optimizer architecture. These requirements led to the current generation of query optimizers, of which two representative optimizers are Starburst [37] and Volcano [22]. While the IBM DB2 optimizer [19] is based on Startburst, the Microsoft SQL-Server optimizer [21] is based on Volcano. The main difference between the approaches taken by the two is the manner in which alternative plans are generated. Starburst generates the plans bottom-up – that is, best plans for all expressions on k relations are computed before expressions on more than k relations are considered. On the other hand, Volcano generates the plans top-down – that is, it computes the best plans for only those expressions …

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    @inproceedings{Chapter2T, title={Chapter 2 Traditional Query Optimization}, author={} }