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SparkOptimizer — Logical Query Plan Optimizer

SparkOptimizer is a concrete logical query plan optimizer.

SparkOptimizer offers the following extension points for additional user-defined optimization rules:

Creating Instance

SparkOptimizer takes the following to be created:

SparkOptimizer is created when SessionState is requested for a logical query plan optimizer (indirectly using BaseSessionStateBuilder is requested for an Optimizer).

Creating SparkOptimizer


earlyScanPushDownRules: Seq[Rule[LogicalPlan]]

earlyScanPushDownRules defines the following rules:

earlyScanPushDownRules is part of the Optimizer abstraction.

Default Rule Batches

SparkOptimizer overrides the optimization rules.

Pre-Optimization Batches (Extension Point)

preOptimizationBatches: Seq[Batch]

Extension point for Pre-Optimization Batches that are executed first (before the regular optimization batches and the defaultBatches).

Base Logical Optimization Batches

Optimization rules of the base Logical Optimizer

Optimize Metadata Only Query


Strategy: Once



Strategy: Once

Pushdown Filters from PartitionPruning


Strategy: fixedPoint

Cleanup filters that cannot be pushed down


Strategy: Once

Post-Hoc Optimization Batches (Extension Point)

postHocOptimizationBatches: Seq[Batch] = Nil

Extension point for Post-Hoc Optimization Batches

Extract Python UDFs


  • ExtractPythonUDFFromJoinCondition
  • CheckCartesianProducts
  • ExtractPythonUDFFromAggregate
  • ExtractGroupingPythonUDFFromAggregate
  • ExtractPythonUDFs
  • ColumnPruning
  • PushPredicateThroughNonJoin
  • RemoveNoopOperators

Strategy: Once

User Provided Optimizers (Extension Point)

Extension point for Extra Optimization Rules using the given ExperimentalMethods

Strategy: fixedPoint

Non-Excludable Rules

SparkOptimizer considers ExtractPythonUDFFromAggregate optimization rule as non-excludable.

Accessing SparkOptimizer

SparkOptimizer is available as the optimizer property of a session-specific SessionState.

scala> :type spark

scala> :type spark.sessionState.optimizer

// It is a SparkOptimizer really.
// Let's check that out with a type cast

import org.apache.spark.sql.execution.SparkOptimizer
scala> spark.sessionState.optimizer.isInstanceOf[SparkOptimizer]
res1: Boolean = true

The optimized logical plan of a structured query is available as QueryExecution.optimizedPlan.

// Applying two filter in sequence on purpose
// We want to kick CombineTypedFilters optimizer in
val dataset = spark.range(10).filter(_ % 2 == 0).filter(_ == 0)

// optimizedPlan is a lazy value
// Only at the first time you call it you will trigger optimizations
// Next calls end up with the cached already-optimized result
// Use explain to trigger optimizations again
scala> dataset.queryExecution.optimizedPlan
res0: org.apache.spark.sql.catalyst.plans.logical.LogicalPlan =
TypedFilter <function1>, class java.lang.Long, [StructField(value,LongType,true)], newInstance(class java.lang.Long)
+- Range (0, 10, step=1, splits=Some(8))


Enable ALL logging level for org.apache.spark.sql.execution.SparkOptimizer logger to see what happens inside.

Add the following line to conf/

Refer to Logging.

Further Reading and Watching

  1. Deep Dive into Spark SQL’s Catalyst Optimizer

  2. (video) Modern Spark DataFrame and Dataset (Intermediate Tutorial) by Adam Breindel

Last update: 2020-08-10