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Re: Query optimizer-miss with unqualified expressions, bug or feature?

On 10/19/2015 3:48 PM, Roy Lyseng wrote:
Hi Ben,

On 19.10.15 16.07, Ben Clewett wrote:
Hi Roy,

Thanks for the clear explanation.

I guess (hypothetically) the optimizer could see if it has a key, and
then use
two starts: one on 'a > 0' and one on 'a < 0', taking a union of the
Which might make a significant result to something?

That is correct. However, if the substitution type for BOOLEAN was
UNSIGNED TINYINT instead of TINYINT, the range 'a < 0' would not even be
needed, and the quite cumbersome UNION would be avoided. But the best
solution would of course be a two-valued boolean type, where 'a <> 0'
would easily be transformed to a = 1. It would also mean that statistics
for the columns would be better, with TINYINT each value has the
estimated probability 1/256, whereas a boolean value would have
probability 1/2.

<joking around>
256 possible values of BOOLEAN? I've heard of fuzzy logic but this is awesome! Some new literal value names to consider: maybe, sort_of, nearly_always, certainly, practically_never, likely, ...

On a more serious note, indexes with limited cardinality are less useful than those with excellent cardinality. Cardinality is an approximation (or calculation. It depends on your storage engine) of how many unique values there are in the index.

If the Optimizer estimates (based on a calculation based on the Cardinality) that more than about 30% of a table would need to be retrieved in random order based on an index, then that index is disallowed. Why? Because the physical disk overhead of doing random access averages just slightly more than 3x the overhead used to scan a much larger block of data.


An index on just a Boolean value would have at best a cardinality of 2. So, any indexes on Boolean values should include other columns to help the index become more selective.


*Actually, fuzzy logic has lots of practical application in real world situations. They are just not using the MySQL BOOLEAN data type to store the value for comparison.

Shawn Green
MySQL Senior Principal Technical Support Engineer
Oracle USA, Inc. - Integrated Cloud Applications & Platform Services
Office: Blountville, TN

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