From Massive Parallelization to Quantum Computing: Seven Novel Approaches to Query Optimization

The goal of query optimization is to map a declarative query (describing data to generate) to a query plan (describing how to generate the data) with optimal execution cost. Query optimization is required to support declarative query interfaces. It is a core problem in the area of database systems and has received tremendous attention in the research community, starting with an initial publication in 1979. In this thesis, we revisit the query optimization problem. This visit is motivated by several developments that change the context of query optimization. That change is not reflected in prior literature. First, advances in query execution platforms and processing techniques have changed the context of query optimization. Novel provisioning models and processing techniques such as Cloud computing, crowdsourcing, or approximate processing allow to trade between different execution cost metrics (e.g., execution time versus monetary execution fees in case of Cloud computing). This makes it necessary to compare alternative execution plans according to multiple cost metrics in query optimization. While this is a common scenario nowadays, the literature on query optimization with multiple cost metrics (a generalization of the classical problem variant with one execution cost metric) is surprisingly sparse. While prior methods take hours to optimize even moderately sized queries when considering multiple cost metrics, we propose a multitude of approaches to make query optimization in such scenarios practical. A second development that we address in this thesis is the availability of novel software and hardware platforms that can be exploited for optimization. We will show that integer programming solvers, massively parallel clusters (which nowadays are commonly used for query execution), and adiabatic quantum annealers enable us to solve query optimization problem instances that are far beyond the capabilities of prior approaches. In summary, we propose seven novel approaches to query optimization that significantly increase the size of the problem instances that can be addressed (measured by the query size and by the number of considered execution cost metrics). Those novel approaches can be classified into three broad categories: moving query optimization before run time to relax constraints on optimization time, trading optimization time for relaxed optimality guarantees (leading to approximation schemes, incremental algorithms, and randomized algorithms for query optimization with multiple cost metrics), and reducing optimization time by leveraging novel software and hardware platforms (integer programming solvers, massively parallel clusters, and adiabatic quantum annealers). Those approaches are novel since they address novel problem variants of query optimization, introduced in this thesis, since they are novel for their respective problem variant (e.g., we propose the first randomized algorithm for query optimization with multiple cost metrics), or because they have never been used for optimization problems in the database domain (e.g., this is the first time that quantum computing is used to solve a database-specific optimization problem).

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