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Re: variance aggregates per SQL:2003

From: David Fetter <david(at)fetter(dot)org>
To: Neil Conway <neilc(at)samurai(dot)com>
Cc: pgsql-patches <pgsql-patches(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: variance aggregates per SQL:2003
Date: 2006-03-08 00:36:04
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Lists: pgsql-patches
On Tue, Mar 07, 2006 at 05:54:00PM -0500, Neil Conway wrote:
> This patch implements some new aggregate functions defined by SQL2003:
> stddev_pop(), stddev_samp(), var_pop(), and var_samp(). stddev_samp()
> and var_samp() are identical to the existing stddev() and variance()
> aggregates, so I've made the latter aliases for the former.
> I noticed that SQL2003 does not allow DISTINCT to be specified for these
> aggregate functions. I can't really see the rationale for this
> restriction, and it would be fairly ugly to implement as far as I can
> tell. Thoughts?

The rationale is kinda mathematical.  A measure of deviation from
central tendency (i.e. variance or stddev) is something where you
probably don't want to normalize the weights.

For example, the standard deviation of {0,1,1,1,2} is about 0.707, but
the standard deviation of {0,1,2} is 1.

D (still hoping for some way to extend stddev, etc. to intervals)
David Fetter david(at)fetter(dot)org
phone: +1 415 235 3778

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