Oracle Scratchpad

September 20, 2010

Frequency Histograms 2

Filed under: Histograms,Statistics — Jonathan Lewis @ 6:18 pm BST Sep 20,2010

I find it convenient occasionally to “translate” a frequency histogram into a report of the underlying data (sometimes to see how closely the histogram matches the real data). To demonstrate the type of query I use I’ve created a data set with a small number of distinct values and generated a frequency histogram on the data set. This is what the data and histogram look like:

March 23, 2010

Fake Histograms

Filed under: CBO,Histograms,Oracle,Statistics — Jonathan Lewis @ 8:49 pm BST Mar 23,2010

I got an email a few days ago asking me how to create a “height-balanced” histogram using the dbms_stats.set_column_stats() procedure.

I posted an example of creating a frequency histogram a few months ago – and it doesn’t take much to turn this into an example for the height-balanced type; the key change apppears in three critical lines.


May 28, 2009

Frequency Histograms

Filed under: CBO,Histograms,Statistics,Tuning — Jonathan Lewis @ 7:34 pm BST May 28,2009

In a recent article on changes to the calculation of cardinality with frequency histograms I made a comment about writing programs to create fake but realistic and complete frequency histograms to work around the problems of dramatic changes in execution plan that can occur if you let Oracle create the histograms by gathering stats.

As a follow-up to that comment, here’s a little script to demonstrate the method (for a numeric column), and a few points to remember when using this method.


April 23, 2009

Histogram change

Filed under: CBO,Histograms,Statistics,Troubleshooting — Jonathan Lewis @ 7:17 pm BST Apr 23,2009

When you upgrade from to or 11g, watch out for SQL that depends on the existence of frequency histograms.

In (and earlier versions of Oracle) if you have a frequency histogram on a column, and then use a predicate of the form:

where colX = {value not found in histogram}

then the optimizer would calculate a cardinality of one for this predicate (having recorded a density of 1/(2 * num_rows) in the data dictionary (see comments 21 and 22 of this note on dbms_xplan).


April 25, 2008

Cardinality Change

Filed under: CBO,Execution plans,Histograms,Statistics,Troubleshooting — Jonathan Lewis @ 8:13 pm BST Apr 25,2008

Here’s an interesting point that’s just been raised on the Oracle-L list-server:

Metalink bug: 5483301.8

If a column has a frequency histogram and a query uses an equality predicate over the column looking for a value that does not exist in the histogram then the CBO was estimating a cardinality of 1. This could favor Nested Loops too much.

The fix introduces a notable change in behavior: instead of estimating a cardinality of 1 then with this fix CBO estimates a cardinality of (0.5 * the lowest cardinality found in the histogram). This can result in plan changes.


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