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TiFlash Late Materialization

TiFlash late materialization is an optimization method to accelerate queries in OLAP scenarios. You can use the tidb_opt_enable_late_materialization system variable to control whether to enable or disable TiFlash late materialization.

  • When it is disabled, to process a SELECT statement with filter conditions (WHERE clause), TiFlash reads all the data from the columns required by the query, and then filters and aggregates the data based on the query conditions.
  • When it is enabled, TiFlash supports pushing down part of the filter conditions to the TableScan operator. That is, TiFlash first scans the column data related to the filter conditions that are pushed down to the TableScan operator, filters the rows that meet the condition, and then scans the other column data of these rows for further calculation, thereby reducing IO scans and computations of data processing.

To improve the performance of certain queries in OLAP scenarios, starting from v7.1.0, the TiFlash late materialization feature is enabled by default. The TiDB optimizer can determine which filter conditions to be pushed down based on statistics and filter conditions, and prioritize pushing down the filter conditions with high filtration rates. For detailed algorithms, see the RFC document.

For example:

EXPLAIN SELECT a, b, c FROM t1 WHERE a < 1;
+-------------------------+----------+--------------+---------------+-------------------------------------------------------+ | id | estRows | task | access object | operator info | +-------------------------+----------+--------------+---------------+-------------------------------------------------------+ | TableReader_12 | 12288.00 | root | | MppVersion: 1, data:ExchangeSender_11 | | └─ExchangeSender_11 | 12288.00 | mpp[tiflash] | | ExchangeType: PassThrough | | └─TableFullScan_9 | 12288.00 | mpp[tiflash] | table:t1 | pushed down filter:lt(test.t1.a, 1), keep order:false | +-------------------------+----------+--------------+---------------+-------------------------------------------------------+

In this example, the filter condition a < 1 is pushed down to the TableScan operator. TiFlash first reads all data from column a, and then filters the rows that meet the a < 1 condition. Next, TiFlash reads columns b and c from these filtered rows.

Enable or disable TiFlash late materialization

By default, the tidb_opt_enable_late_materialization system variable is ON at both the session and global levels, which means that the TiFlash late materialization feature is enabled. You can use the following statement to view the corresponding variable information:

SHOW VARIABLES LIKE 'tidb_opt_enable_late_materialization';
+--------------------------------------+-------+ | Variable_name | Value | +--------------------------------------+-------+ | tidb_opt_enable_late_materialization | ON | +--------------------------------------+-------+
SHOW GLOBAL VARIABLES LIKE 'tidb_opt_enable_late_materialization';
+--------------------------------------+-------+ | Variable_name | Value | +--------------------------------------+-------+ | tidb_opt_enable_late_materialization | ON | +--------------------------------------+-------+

You can modify the tidb_opt_enable_late_materialization variable at the session level or at the global level.

  • To disable TiFlash late materialization in the current session, use the following statement:

    SET SESSION tidb_opt_enable_late_materialization=OFF;
  • To disable TiFlash late materialization at the global level, use the following statement:

    SET GLOBAL tidb_opt_enable_late_materialization=OFF;

    After this setting, the tidb_opt_enable_late_materialization variable will be enabled by default for both session and global levels in new sessions.

To enable TiFlash late materialization, use the following statements:

SET SESSION tidb_opt_enable_late_materialization=ON;
SET GLOBAL tidb_opt_enable_late_materialization=ON;

Implementation mechanism

When filter conditions are pushed down to the TableScan operator, the execution process of the TableScan operator mainly includes the following steps:

  1. Reads the three columns <handle, del_mark, version>, performs multi-version concurrency control (MVCC) filtering, and then generates the MVCC Bitmap.
  2. Reads the columns related to the filter conditions, filters the rows that meet the conditions, and then generates the Filter Bitmap.
  3. Performs an AND operation between the MVCC Bitmap and Filter Bitmap to generate the Final Bitmap.
  4. Reads the corresponding rows of the remaining columns according to the Final Bitmap.
  5. Merges the data read in steps 2 and 4, and then returns the results.

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