Non-Cost-Based Optimizations In Relational Databases

Lukas Eder has a big article on ten query optimizations that don’t involve looking at statistics or query costs:

This optimisation is really silly, but hey, why not. If users write impossible predicates, then why even execute them? Here are some examples:

-- "Obvious"
SELECT * FROM actor WHERE 1 = 0
-- "Subtle"
SELECT * FROM actor WHERE NULL = NULL

The first query should obviously never return any results, but the same is true for the second one, because while NULL IS NULL yields TRUE, always, NULL = NULL evaluates to NULL, which has the same effect as FALSE according to three-valued logic.

This doesn’t need much explanation, so let’s immediately jump to see which databases optimise this:

I was a bit surprised at how well DB2 did in this set.

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