This section contains reference documentation for the DISTINCTCOUNTRAWTHETASKETCH function.

The Theta Sketch framework enables set operations over a stream of data, and can also be used for cardinality estimation. Pinot leverages the Sketch Class and its extensions from the library org.apache.datasketches:datasketches-java:4.2.0 to perform distinct counting as well as evaluating set operations.


distinctCountRawThetaSketch(<thetaSketchColumn>, <thetaSketchParams>, predicate1, predicate2..., postAggregationExpressionToEvaluate) -> HexEncoded

  • thetaSketchColumn (required): Name of the column to aggregate on.

  • thetaSketchParams (required): Semicolon-separated parameter string for constructing the intermediate theta-sketches.

    • The supported parameters are:

    • nominalEntries: The nominal entries used to create the sketch. (Default 4096)

    • samplingProbability: Sets the upfront uniform sampling probability, p. (Default 1.0)

    • accumulatorThreshold: How many sketches should be kept in memory before merging. (Default 2)

    • Currently, the only supported parameter is nominalEntries (defaults to 4096).

  • predicates (optional)_: _ These are individual predicates of form lhs <op> rhs which are applied on rows selected by the where clause. During intermediate sketch aggregation, sketches from the thetaSketchColumn that satisfies these predicates are unionized individually. For example, all filtered rows that match country=USA are unionized into a single sketch. Complex predicates that are created by combining (AND/OR) of individual predicates is supported.

  • postAggregationExpressionToEvaluate (required): The set operation to perform on the individual intermediate sketches for each of the predicates. Currently supported operations are SET_DIFF, SET_UNION, SET_INTERSECT , where DIFF requires two arguments and the UNION/INTERSECT allow more than two arguments.

Usage Examples

These examples are based on the Batch Quick Start.

select distinctCountRawThetaSketch(teamID) AS value
from baseballStats 


select distinctCountRawThetaSketch(teamID, 'nominalEntries=10') AS value
from baseballStats


We can also provide predicates and a post aggregation expression to compute more complicated cardinalities:

select distinctCountRawThetaSketch(
  'teamID = ''SFN'' AND numberOfGames=28 AND homeRuns=1',
  'teamID = ''CHN'' AND numberOfGames=28 AND homeRuns=1',
  'SET_INTERSECT($1, $2)'
) AS value
from baseballStats 


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