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Testing expression (RexNode) transformations


With Zoltan’s help, I just committed [1] a nice change to RexSimplify, adding a “paranoid” flag. If you set paranoid = true, then RexSimplify will simplify expressions but it will also try to prove that the transformation is wrong. It does that by assigning sample values to variables and checking that the simplified expression produces the same result as the original expression.

Consider the expression

  (not a) and (b > 5) and (not true)

This simplifies to “false”, because of the trailing “not true”. “a” is boolean, so we use sample values {unknown, false, true}; “b” is an integer, so we use values {null, 0, 1, 1,000,000}. For the 15 (3 x 5) combinations of assignments to variables (a, b), we evaluate the original expression and the simplified expression, and make sure they give the same result. If the result is different, we have proved that the simplification is invalid. I already found one bug [2] this way.

I added RexInterpreter (which evaluates RexNode expressions by interpreting, rather than by generating Java as RexExecutor does) because I didn’t want to increase coupling.

One area this could be improved is to add more values based on the expression. Because the integer literal 5 is present, we ought to check values {4, 5, 6} in addition to the default values {null, -1, 0, 1, 1,000,000}.

It’s really important that our transformation rules can be trusted, so please use this functionality as much as you can in tests. If you your transformation does not use RexSimplify, you can use RexAnalyzer directly. Also, add more tests for rex transformations; each test gives RexSimplifier a lot of opportunities to find faults.

Julian

[1] https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/CALCITE-2314 <https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/CALCITE-2314>

[2] https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/CALCITE-2332 <https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/CALCITE-2332>