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Static query optimized with one plan

Project description


While the catalog tool in Zope is immensely useful, we have seen some slowdowns in large Plone sites with a combination of additional indexes and lots of content.

The catalog implementation is using BTree set operations like union, multiunion and intersection. Those operations are fairly fast, especially when everything is in memory. However, the catalog implementation is rather naive which leads to lots of set operations on rather big sets.

Query plan

Search engines and databases uses query optimizers to select query plans that will minimize the result set as early as possible, because working with large amounts of data is time consuming.

What we want to do is to search against the indexes giving the smallest result set first. However, for that to be useful, we need to pass that result along into the indexes to allow the indexes to limit the result set as soon as possible internally. When calculating a path search, there is no need to look in all 150000 results if the portal type index has already limited the possible result to 10000. If we have already limited the result to 10000 results, all set operations are going to be significantly faster.

We identify different searches by the list of indexes that are searched. If there are no query plans for a set of indexes, the query is run like normal while storing the number of results for each index. When all indexes have been checked, the list is sorted on number of results and stored as a query plan. Next time a search on the same indexes comes in, the query plan is looked up.

To get different query plans for similar queries, you can provide additional bogus index names. They will be ignored by the catalog, but will become part of the key. For indexes that have only a small number of distinct values the query value will become part of the key as well. These type of indexes often have an uneven distribution of indexed keys to values. For example there might be very few pending documents in a site, but many published ones.


To test, import the monkey patch in other tests, like CMFPlone:

import experimental.catalogqueryplan

and run the test.


2.1 - 2009-11-19

  • Moved patching into an initialize method and import ZopeTestCase in tests. This avoids import errors in Zope 2.12. [hannosch]

2.0 - 2009-11-10

  • Add browser view for convenient dumping of the current query plan as a python module & support for loading it again using the CATALOGQUERYPLAN environment variable. [witsch]

1.9 - 2009-11-06

  • Yet more fixes for the recent optimization. The ZCatalog API is too flexible. [hannosch]

1.8 - 2009-11-06

  • Fixed an optimization introduced in the 1.7 release. We also need to look into the form arguments of a request to look for query restrictions. [hannosch]

1.7 - 2009-10-17

  • When processing queries, do not ask indexes for their restrictions which aren’t actually part of the query. [hannosch]
  • Added a DEFAULT_PRIORITYMAP hook into the catalog module. This allows to provide a default priority map dictionary to initialize the prioritymap with a precomputed or manually designed one. [hannosch]

1.6 - 2009-09-10

  • Removed the per request caching for the date range index. This can lead to invalid results for subsequent queries during the same request, if the data is changed. [hannosch]

1.5 - 2009-07-27

  • Make sure to always include all indexes found in the original query into the queryplan. Otherwise if we get a query at first which happens to have no restrictions on a particular index, this index will no longer be queried at all. Now we at least preserve the index as part of the queryplan. The real solution is to continuously update the queryplan with result lengths as done in unimr.catalogqueryplan. [hannosch]

1.4 - 2009-05-20

  • Added detailed per index time logging to the slow query reporting. You get the time spent per index in addition to the total now. [hannosch]
  • Speed up the common KeywordIndexes like portal_type and allowedRolesAndUsers. Provided with a small passed in result set and an or-query we intersect it with each set in the index and union them later. Doing a straight multiunion on these types of indexes most often creates a set close to the total catalog size. [hannosch]
  • Added optional logging of slow queries, inspired by unimr.catalogqueryplan. [hannosch]
  • Added a mechanism to indicate the types of indexes, whose query values should be taken into account when building the prioritymap. An opt-in mechanism via VALUETYPES is provided much like ADVANCEDTYPES. Queries for example for review_state differ depending on the query for pending and published items, as those are usually very unevenly distributed. [hannosch]

1.3 - 2009-03-15

  • Changed the log messages to debug level. [hannosch]

1.2 - 2009-03-03

  • Don’t use request.request as part of the update as it tends to trigger the browser id (_ZopeId) [tesdal]
  • Make sure UnIndex always returns IISet, not int. [tesdal]
  • Only sort intersection sets if there are more than 2 sets, otherwise the order is irrelevant [tesdal]
  • Added logging for patches [swampmonkey]

1.1 - 2009-01-02

  • Made the set monkeypatches temporary to avoid zc.relationship trying to persist the set methods. [tesdal]

1.0 - 2009-01-02

  • Removed redundant intersections, added type checking to difference [tesdal]
  • Add alternative weightedIntersection, and reuse BTree tests [tesdal]
  • Don’t monkeypatch intersection as zc.relationship will try to pickle the function. Added new ExtendedPathIndex code. [tesdal]
  • Optimize UnIndex.apply_index internally, sort sets for AND, use multiunion for OR. [tesdal]
  • Limit the number of if-statements in intersection, and added test for fastest way of finding max and min. [tesdal]
  • Monkeypatch difference to handle big/tiny difference in Python This doesn’t belong in queryplan, as it’s only a BTree patch, and should be refactored out. [tesdal]
  • Added performance tests. [tesdal]
  • Fixed a bug with UnIndex return result missing index id [tesdal]
  • Added tests for intersection, fixed a bug with empty second argument set [tesdal]
  • Monkeypatch intersect to handle big/tiny intersects in Python [tesdal]
  • Improved UnIndex query, to avoid redundant intersections [tesdal]
  • Clarified LanguageIndex support. We are missing fallback support right now and now disable the optimization when fallback is enabled. [hannosch, mj]

0.9 - 2008-10-18

  • Added support for LinguaPlone’s LanguageIndex. [hannosch]

0.8 - 2008-09-03

  • Let each index patch register itself with the ADVANCEDTYPES list. This should enable patching of other indexes as well, and remove the dependency on ExtendedPathIndex. [tesdal]

0.7 - 2008-08-22

  • Check whether we’re supposed to use daterangeindex at all before retrieving cached data. [tesdal]

0.6 - 2008-07-03

  • Use a volatile instance variable to store the prioritymap. [mj]

0.5 - 2008/06/23

  • DateRangeIndex shouldn’t overwrite the semi-request passed into the apply_index method. [mj]

0.4 - 2008/06/23

  • DateRangeIndex now doesn’t assume that REQUEST is available. [tesdal]


  • Handle request being a dictionary. [tesdal]


  • Refactored patches into multiple files. [tesdal]
  • Dynamic query optimization based on result set analysis from queries against the same indexes. [tesdal]
  • Manual query optimization based on typical usage pattern. [tesdal]


  • Initial release

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