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A cost-based optimizer (CBO) generates efficient query plans. Hive does not use the CBO until you generate column statistics for tables. By default, Hive gathers only table statistics. You need to configure Hive to enable gathering of column statistics.

The CBO, powered by Apache Calcite, is a core component in the Hive query processing engine. The CBO optimizes plans for executing a query, calculates the cost, and selects the least expensive plan to use. In addition to increasing the efficiency of execution plans, the CBO conserves resources.

How the CBO works

After parsing a query, a process converts the query to a logical tree (Abstract Syntax Tree) that represents the operations to perform, such as reading a table or performing a JOIN. Calcite applies optimizations, such as query rewrite, JOIN re-ordering, JOIN elimination, and deriving implied predicates to the query to produce logically equivalent plans. Bushy plans provide maximum parallelism. Each logical plan is assigned a cost that is based on distinct, value-based heuristics.

The Calcite plan pruner selects the lowest-cost logical plan. Hive converts the chosen logical plan to a physical operator tree, optimizes the tree, and converts the tree to a Tez job for execution on the Hadoop cluster.

Explain plans

You can generate explain plans by running the EXPLAIN query command. An explain plan shows you the execution plan of a query by revealing the operations that occur when you run the query. Having a better understanding of the plan, you might rewrite the query or change Tez configuration parameters.