你知道多少关于sql select top N?

12/23/2009来源:ASP技巧人气:14359

背景:
sql select top N 语句是一个非常重要的语句, 在实现分页查询中是不可或缺的. 由于分页查询通常涉及含有大量记录的表, 并且是为大量用户分享的任务,因此,对其进行优化是很有意义的。

实现sql top N 的功能有几种变种:

1. set rowcount @n; select ... order by somefields

2. select top (@n) .... order by somefields

3. select top (xx) ....   order by somefields

        -- 其中 xx是一个常数, 比如10

在上述的查询中引用的somefields, 如果涉及的表在其上有索引是一种情况, 没有索引又是一种情况。
有索引的话,即使表含有很多记录,也不会对性能造成太大问题。
没有索引的情况也是会有实际需求的,比如实时的找出销售最好的前100个产品。在没有索引时的查找Top N, 如果不进行细致的优化,会对性能造成很大的影响,甚至会使得整个系统瘫痪。

如果要对top n进行优化,那么了解sql server 是如何处理上述的top n 的几种变形就是很有必要的. 下面的文章是我在MS的论坛上发的, 我自己懒得翻译成中文了,和大家共享一下吧。



原文(是我在http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en/transactsql/thread/944ad896-b34c-4dea-af55-cfbae79251f6上的一个回贴)



Question:

--fast
1. select top 100 * from test where c1 < 30000 order by c2

--slow
2. select top 101 * from test where c1 < 30000 order by c2



1. is more than  two times faster than 2.



Why?



What a coinccident! I am on the same issue just at the time.
I was considering implementing an algorithm like this:
First populate the N rows to a table variable (with index on the sort column), then iterate through all left rows, adding one row to the table variable if bigger than min of the table, else discard it.  This could be either done in sql or clr aggregate function.
Then I thought maybe MS had already done it in the Top N stuff, so started to run a test against it.



CREATE TABLE [dbo].[NUM]
([n] int NOT NULL, s varchar(128) NULL, PRIMARY KEY CLUSTERED([n] ASC))
go
-- populate data
set nocount on
declare @n int, @i int
set @n=1000000
set @i = 0
while @n>0 begin
if @i = 0 begin tran
insert into dbo.NUM
select @n, convert(varchar,@n + @i * 2)
set @[email protected]
set @i = (@i + 1) % 1000
if @i = 0 commit
end
GO
-- test 1
select  top ( XX ) cast(s as int), n from dbo.num
order by cast(s as int) desc
go
-- test 2
set rowcount XX
select cast(s as int), n from dbo.num
order by cast(s as int) desc
for test 1, duration < 1s, for any XX <= 100, and the duration is about 12s for any XX >100

for test 2, the duration is fixed at 4s for XX: 10  - 100,000.

The show-plan shows test 1 uses Top N sort op, while the test 2 uses Sort  op.
Ok I dont care about the sort op. The only thing I care is if MS has correctly implemented the Ton N Sort.
MSDN stated about "Top N sort":  
"Top N Sort is similar to the Sort iterator, except that only the first N rows are needed, and not the entire result set. For small values of N, the SQL Server query execution engine attempts to perform the entire sort Operation in memory. For large values of N, the query execution engine resorts to the more generic method of sorting to which N is not a parameter."

As you can see, this statement sound like the algorithm I was intending to write myself. But the later part mentioned a "more generic method of sorting to which N is not a parameter", that exlains why no matter how XX changes for test1 after going beyong 100, the duration is always the same.  Test 2 is also insensitive to N.
So MS seems used 3 algorithm, in which two of them are used for "top N", one is for "set rowcount".

I do not think whether to perform it in memory or not will cause such a big difference. It's mainly due to that only one (the fastest one) uses the algorithm of just keeping the top N rows and then evict low ranking items when they fall below the N window.

I am using a sql 2005.

I also tested the "select top (@n)" variation. The result shows that "select top (@n)" is similar to "set rowcount...".
The reason I tested the "select top (@n)" variation is that I was wondering if We could use plan-force to force it use the faster "Top N Sort". However it seems that "select top (@n)" is quite different from "select top (xx)" where xx is a constant,  but similar to  "set rowcount; ...". Guess it will not work,  so I will not try to test if plan-force can do the job.

Just curious why MS choose not to use the "Top N Sort" algorithm always, instead to choose this so complex arrangement (i.e. some with "Top N Sort", some with the "Sort then Top").   I think, "Top N Sort" should always be used