Sketch Functions

Sketches are data structures that can approximately answer particular questions about a dataset when full accuracy is not required. The benefit of approximate answers is that they are often faster and more efficient to compute than functions which result in full accuracy.

Presto provides support for computing some sketches available in the Apache DataSketches library.

Theta Sketches

Theta sketches enable distinct value counting on datasets and also provide the ability to perform set operations. For more information on Theta sketches, please see the Apache Datasketches Theta sketch documentation.

sketch_theta(x) varbinary

Computes a theta sketch from an input dataset. The output from this function can be used as an input to any of the other sketch_theta_* family of functions.

sketch_theta_estimate(sketch) double

Returns the estimate of distinct values from the input sketch.

sketch_theta_summary(sketch) -> row(estimate double, theta double, upper_bound_std double, lower_bound_std double, retained_entries int)

Returns a summary of the input sketch which includes the distinct values estimate alongside other useful information such as the sketch theta parameter, current error bounds corresponding to 1 standard deviation, and the number of retained entries in the sketch.

KLL Sketches

Kll Sketches are an implementation of a quantiles sketch. For more information about the KLL sketch, see the Apache Datasketches KLL Sketch documentation.


This computes a KLL Sketch. The stored form is the little-endian serialized version of the Apache DataSketches KLL Sketch.


This computes a KLL Sketch using the supplied value for k. The k parameter must be in the range [8..65535]. It controls the accuracy of the sketch. Smaller k is less accurate but consumes less storage. A larger k will be more accurate but consume more storage. For more information on the k parameter, refer to the KLL Sketch documentation. The serialized form of the sketch returned by this function is the same as the sketch_kll function.

sketch_kll_quantile[T](sketch: kllsketch[T], rank: double[, inclusivity: boolean]) T

Computes the value in the sketch that occurs at a particular quantile. The third argument refers to the inclusivity of the query. This function returns values strictly less than the quantile when inclusivity is false or values less than or equal to the quantile when inclusivity true. If omitted, the default inclusivity is true.

sketch_kll_rank[T](sketch: kllsketch[T], quantile: T[, inclusivity: boolean]) double

Computes the quantile that a particular value occurs at in the sketch. The third argument refers to the inclusivity of the query. Given that the sketch represents a distribution of data X, this function returns quantiles representing P(T < X) when inclusivity is false and P(T <= X) when inclusivity is true. If omitted, the default inclusivity is true.