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Re: Nested Aggregate Expressions

From: Steve Harris <steve.harris@garlik.com>
Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2012 23:45:37 +0100
Cc: SPARQL Working Group <public-rdf-dawg@w3.org>
Message-Id: <29123E88-F25E-4826-853A-A916FFC92A4E@garlik.com>
To: Andy Seaborne <andy.seaborne@epimorphics.com>
On 3 Jun 2012, at 16:03, Andy Seaborne wrote:

> Can aggregate expressions contain aggregates?
> This comes from a recent email [1] and while these may well not actually address the application goal (a subquery was meant - see thread), the SPARQL 1.1 Query spec does permit these unusual queries.
> Example:
> PREFIX ex: <http://example.org/meals#>
> SELECT (AVG(?mealPrice * (1.0 + MAX( ?mealTip / ?mealPrice)))
>           AS ?avgCostWithBestTip)
>  ?description ex:mealPrice ?mealPrice .
>  ?description ex:mealTip ?mealTip .
> } GROUP BY ?description
> i.e.an aggregate inside an aggregate:  AVG(?x * MAX (?y) )
> One line of argument is that the expression inside the aggregate is applied to each row, so only row variables should be considered in-scope.  The aggregate AVG(max(?x)+1) is violating that as max(?x) is not a per-row expression.
> What ARQ does is to calculate the aggregates of a group as the group streams past; it does not wait until the end of evaluation of the whole block when all the elements of all the groups are known.
> Related to this is the interaction with select expressions:
> SELECT (max(?x) As ?M) (avg(?M+1) AS ?A)
> because the select expression rules say you can use ?M inside AVG().
> If we wish to forbid this, we can do it quite easily by having a parser rule that aggregates can't appear in expression for the aggregate, which is a simple static check.

Oh boy, it's certainly wacky.

That parse rule wouldn't rule out the use of ?M above though anyway, would it?

- Steve

Steve Harris, CTO
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Received on Monday, 4 June 2012 22:48:58 UTC

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