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I categorized a table with the method introduced here to categorize my items to folders with a limit size of 100.

mixing_order  id     num_items  cat order_in_cat cumulative_sum folder
1             1      4          1   1            4              1
2             2      33         1   2            37             1
3             3      74         2   1            74             2
4             4      41         1   3            41             3
5             5      24         1   4            65             3
6             6      44         2   2            44             4
7             7      16         1   5            57             4
8             8      55         1   6            55             5
9             9      11         1   7            66             5
10            10     37         1   8            37             6

Now, I want to go further and re-arrange the rows to better fit within folders. Consider that the records are of two categories (indicated by column cat). We can make a better fit just by altering the order of mixing. Then, we can produce the following table as each folder has a cumulative_sum close to the folder size limit (i.e. 100 here). As you can see, the order in each category (order_in_cat) has not been changed, only the order that the rows from different categories are mixed.

mixing_order  id     num_items  cat  order_in_cat cumulative_sum folder
1             1      4          1    1            4              1
2             2      33         1    2            37             1
3             4      41         1    3            78             1
4             3      74         2    1            74             2
5             5      24         1    4            98             2
6             7      16         1    5            16             3
7             8      55         1    6            67             3
8             9      11         1    7            78             3
9             6      44         2    2            44             4
10            10     37         1    8            81             4

In other words, the mixing_order was random in order of INSERT, but now we want to re-arrange the mixing_order to best fit within folder.

Probably, we need a loop in which re-calculating SUM to find the best match out of possible choices, but I have no idea how to conduct such loop in SQL.

share|improve this question
    
First, the possible choices to be searched can vary from 1 (all items in the same category) to N! (all items in their own category). If you want to find the absolute best fit, this will be very slow in general. –  ypercube Jan 9 '13 at 19:20
    
Second, you haven't really defined what "best fit" is. An arrangement with minimum number of folders? Or with minimum of the biggest leftover? Or something else? –  ypercube Jan 9 '13 at 19:23
    
Wow, Thank You for Accepting !!! –  RolandoMySQLDBA Jan 7 at 21:57
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1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Here it the code from @DTest's Answer

SET @folder = 1;
SET @items = 0;
SELECT
    id, num_items,
    (SELECT IF(((@items:=@items+num_items)>100), @folder:=@folder+1, @folder)) as folder,
    IF(@items>100,@items:=0,@items) as checkItems
FROM foo;

Staring at this query, I would shudder to even think about writing of a Stored Procedure Technique for fitting items in folders. Then, it hit me ...

You could simply take the same query and ORDER BY num_items. That would actually pack as many items into a folder as possible before switching to another folder.

mysql> use ali
Database changed
mysql> CREATE TABLE foo (
    ->   id tinyint unsigned primary key AUTO_INCREMENT,
    ->   num_items tinyint unsigned
    -> );
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.24 sec)

mysql>
mysql> INSERT INTO foo VALUES (1,4),(2,33),(3,74),(4,44),(5,24),(6,34),(7,46),(8,55),(9,11);
Query OK, 9 rows affected (0.17 sec)
Records: 9  Duplicates: 0  Warnings: 0

mysql> SET @folder = 1;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.03 sec)

mysql> SET @items = 0;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

mysql> SELECT id, num_items, (SELECT IF(((@items:=@items+num_items)>100), 
    -> @folder:=@folder+1, @folder)) as folder,
    -> IF(@items>100,@items:=0,@items) as checkItems
    -> FROM foo ORDER BY num_items;
+----+-----------+--------+------------+
| id | num_items | folder | checkItems |
+----+-----------+--------+------------+
|  1 |         4 |      1 |          4 |
|  9 |        11 |      1 |         15 |
|  5 |        24 |      1 |         39 |
|  2 |        33 |      1 |         72 |
|  6 |        34 |      2 |          0 |
|  4 |        44 |      2 |         44 |
|  7 |        46 |      2 |         90 |
|  8 |        55 |      3 |          0 |
|  3 |        74 |      3 |         74 |
+----+-----------+--------+------------+
9 rows in set (0.08 sec)

mysql>

This packing would be somewhat lopsided in iterms of the number of entries per folder but the sum of the items per folder are pressed as close to 100 as possible.

Please note that if you want later folder with more items, simply change ORDER BY num_items to ORDER BY num_items DESC.

Give it a Try !!!

UPDATE 2013-01-09 12:52 EDT

What you need are three(3) mechanisms:

  • MECHANISM #1 : You need to imbed the query in a subquery
  • MECHANISM #2 : Order the subquery output by folder,num_items
  • MECHANISM #3 : Use a variable to monitor when you change folders from each row. When such a change occurs, you simply reset the folder counter to 1.

Here is the new code:

SET @order_val = 0;
SET @folder = 1;
SET @curr_folder = 1;
SET @items = 0;
SELECT *,
    @order_val:=IF(folder=@curr_folder,@order_val+1,1) ordervalue,
    @curr_folder:=folder current_folder
FROM
(
    SELECT * FROM
    (
        SELECT
            id, num_items,
            (SELECT IF(((@items:=@items+num_items)>100),
            @folder:=@folder+1, @folder)) as folder,
            IF(@items>100,@items:=0,@items) as checkItems
        FROM foo
    ) AA ORDER BY folder,num_items
) A;

Here is it execution:

mysql> SET @order_val = 0;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

mysql> SET @folder = 1;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

mysql> SET @curr_folder = 1;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

mysql> SET @items = 0;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

mysql> SELECT *,
    ->     @order_val:=IF(folder=@curr_folder,@order_val+1,1) ordervalue,
    ->     @curr_folder:=folder current_folder
    -> FROM
    -> (
    ->     SELECT * FROM
    ->     (
    ->         SELECT
    ->             id, num_items,
    ->             (SELECT IF(((@items:=@items+num_items)>100),
    ->             @folder:=@folder+1, @folder)) as folder,
    ->             IF(@items>100,@items:=0,@items) as checkItems
    ->         FROM foo
    ->     ) AA ORDER BY folder,num_items
    -> ) A;
+----+-----------+--------+------------+------------+----------------+
| id | num_items | folder | checkItems | ordervalue | current_folder |
+----+-----------+--------+------------+------------+----------------+
|  1 |         4 |      1 |          4 |          1 |              1 |
|  2 |        33 |      1 |         37 |          2 |              1 |
|  5 |        24 |      2 |         68 |          1 |              2 |
|  4 |        44 |      2 |         44 |          2 |              2 |
|  3 |        74 |      2 |          0 |          3 |              2 |
|  6 |        34 |      3 |          0 |          1 |              3 |
|  7 |        46 |      3 |         46 |          2 |              3 |
|  9 |        11 |      4 |         11 |          1 |              4 |
|  8 |        55 |      4 |          0 |          2 |              4 |
+----+-----------+--------+------------+------------+----------------+
9 rows in set (0.00 sec)

mysql>

Give it a Try !!!

share|improve this answer
    
This method will change the order in cat, which is the main requirement. It is needed to preserve the order in each category. The flexibility is where categories are mixed. –  All Jan 9 '13 at 0:09
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