# Nested Loop Join

## Nested Loop Join Physical I/O Optimizations

Having done my mini-series on Nested Loop join logical I/O optimizations a while ago I unfortunately never managed to publish anything regarding the Nested Loop join physical I/O optimizations, which are certainly much more relevant to real-life performance.Therefore the main purpose of this blog post is to point you to Nikolay Savvinov's (whose blog I can recommend in general) great mini-series covering various aspects of these optimizations:Part 1Part 2Part 3SummaryOne point that - at least to me - isn't entirely clear when reading Nikolay's series is which specific plan shape he refers to, in particul

## "Cost-free" joins - 1

Recently I came across some interesting edge cases regarding the costing of joins. They all have in common that they result in (at first sight) unexpected execution plans, but only some of them are actual threats to performance.

### Outer Joins

The first one is about outer joins with an extreme data distribution. Consider the following data setup:

`create table t1asselect        rownum as id      , rpad('x', 100) as filler      , case when rownum > 1e6 then rownum end as null_fkfrom        dualconnect by        level <= 1e6;exec dbms_stats.gather_table_stats(null, 't1')create table t2asselect        rownum as id      , rpad('x', 100) as fillerfrom        dualconnect by        level <= 1e6;`

## Nested Loop Join Costing

The basic formula for calculating the costs of a Nested Loop Join is pretty straightforward and has been described and published several times.

In principle it is the cost of acquiring the driving row source plus the cost of acquiring the inner row source of the Nested Loop as many times as the driving row source dictates via the cardinality of the driving row source.

Cost (outer rowsource) + Cost (inner rowsource) * Card (outer rowsource)

Obviously there are cases where Oracle has introduced refinements to the above formula where this is no longer true. Here is one of these cases that is probably not uncommon.

## Logical I/O - Evolution: Part 2 - 9i, 10g Prefetching

In the initial part of this series I've explained some details regarding logical I/O using a Nested Loop Join as example.

To recap I've shown in particular:

- Oracle can re-visit pinned buffers without performing logical I/O

- There are different variants of consistent gets - a "normal" one involving buffer pin/unpin cycles requiring two latch acquisitions and a short-cut variant that visits the buffer while holding the corresponding "cache buffers chains" child latch ("examination") and therefore only requiring a single latch acquisition

- Although two statements use a similar execution plan and produce the same number of logical I/Os one is significantly faster and scales better than the other one

## Logical I/O - Evolution: Part 1 - Baseline

Forward to Part 2

This is the first part in a series of blog posts that shed some light on the enhancements Oracle has introduced with the recent releases regarding the optimizations of logical I/O.http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif

Before we can appreciate the enhancements, though, we need to understand the baseline. This is what this blog post is about.

The example used throughout this post is based on a simple Nested Loop Join which is one area where Oracle has introduced significant enhancements.

It started its life as a comparison of using unique vs. non-unique indexes as part of a Nested Loop Join and their influence on performance and scalability.

This comparison on its own is very educating and also allows to demonstrate and explain some of the little details regarding logical I/O.