My problem is for Postgresql 10 but it probably is also relevant for other DB systems.
I have several tables in which I need to identify groups based on several criteria (some of them are PostGIS-geospatial criteria, some other are shared values in certain columns, ... that don't matter).
I am going to take a simple example. Let's say I have I have first table with people:
CREATE TABLE employees ( id serial PRIMARY KEY, name varchar(255), desk_number varchar(20) )
and that I want to group all employees that share the same desk (field desk_number). Illustration :
employees -------------- id | name | desk_number 1 | Bill | 314 2 | Joe | 200 3 | Bob | 314 4 | Matt | 189 5 | Sam | 314 6 | Anne | 150
In this example, what I want to have is the list of employees sharing desk number 314 : Bill, Bob and Sam (id: 1, 3, 5).
My current query for finding this is :
WITH findpairs AS ( -- part 1 of the query : selecting pairs SELECT s1.id AS id1, s2.id AS id2 FROM employees AS s1 JOIN employees AS s2 ON s1.desk_number = s2.desk_number WHERE s1.id < s2.id ) -- part2 of the query : filtering SELECT s1.id1 FROM findpairs AS s1 LEFT JOIN findpairs AS s2 ON s1.id1 = s2.id2 WHERE s2.id2 IS NULL ;
Explanations : In the first part of the query, I find all pairs of rows that for employees that share the same desk.
Without the WHERE clause, I would obtain as a result:
id1 | id2 1 | 3 3 | 1 1 | 5 5 | 1 1 | 1 2 | 2 3 | 3 4 | 4 5 | 5 6 | 6
The WHERE clause "s1.id < s2.id" prevents returning matches for a row with itself and makes sure that for two rows matching each other, only one row will be returned.
With this WHERE clause, what the part 1 of the query returns is :
id1 | id2 1 | 3 1 | 5 3 | 5
I only two pairs of rows (1-3 and 1-5) to define the group I need ; the row 3-5 is unnecessary. That is why the second part of the query also does some filtering : because of the previous "s1.id < s2.id" clause, I know the lowest of the id values is only present in s1.id and never in s2.id. By using a LEFT JOIN, I can identify these rows from the set returned by part 1 and discard the other ones.
The final result returned is :
id1 | id2 1 | 3 1 | 5
And I can store this as such in a specific table :
CREATE TABLE matched_employees ( id1 integer, id2 integer )
Question 1 : is there a less tedious way to do this ? This takes a hell of a time to run on my server with my dataset.
Question 2 : instead to store the result in a table with pairs ( matched_employees ). Is there a better way to store this information (and easily access it later) ?