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Oracle® Database SQL Language Reference
11g Release 1 (11.1)

B28286-07
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MEDIAN

Syntax

Description of median.gif follows
Description of the illustration median.gif

See Also:

"Analytic Functions" for information on syntax, semantics, and restrictions

Purpose

MEDIAN is an inverse distribution function that assumes a continuous distribution model. It takes a numeric or datetime value and returns the middle value or an interpolated value that would be the middle value once the values are sorted. Nulls are ignored in the calculation.

This function takes as arguments any numeric datatype or any nonnumeric datatype that can be implicitly converted to a numeric datatype. If you specify only expr, then the function returns the same datatype as the numeric datatype of the argument. if you specify the OVER clause, then Oracle Database determines the argument with the highest numeric precedence, implicitly converts the remaining arguments to that datatype, and returns that datatype.

See Also:

Table 2-10, "Implicit Type Conversion Matrix" for more information on implicit conversion and "Numeric Precedence" for information on numeric precedence

The result of MEDIAN is computed by first ordering the rows. Using N as the number of rows in the group, Oracle calculates the row number (RN) of interest with the formula RN = (1 + (0.5*(N-1)). The final result of the aggregate function is computed by linear interpolation between the values from rows at row numbers CRN = CEILING(RN) and FRN = FLOOR(RN).

The final result will be:

   if (CRN = FRN = RN) then
      (value of expression from row at RN)
   else
      (CRN - RN) * (value of expression for row at FRN) +
      (RN - FRN) * (value of expression for row at CRN)

You can use MEDIAN as an analytic function. You can specify only the query_partition_clause in its OVER clause. It returns, for each row, the value that would fall in the middle among a set of values within each partition.

Compare this function with these functions:

Aggregate Example

The following query returns the median salary for each department in the hr.employees table:

SELECT department_id, MEDIAN(salary)
   FROM employees
   GROUP BY department_id
   ORDER BY department_id, median(salary);

DEPARTMENT_ID MEDIAN(SALARY)
------------- --------------
           10           4400
           20           9500
           30           2850
           40           6500
           50           3100
           60           4800
           70          10000
           80           8900
           90          17000
          100           8000
          110          10150
                        7000

Analytic Example

The following query returns the median salary for each manager in a subset of departments in the hr.employees table:

SELECT manager_id, employee_id, salary,
   MEDIAN(salary) OVER (PARTITION BY manager_id) "Median by Mgr"
   FROM employees
   WHERE department_id > 60
   ORDER BY manager_id, employee_id, salary, "Median by Mgr";

MANAGER_ID EMPLOYEE_ID     SALARY Median by Mgr
---------- ----------- ---------- -------------
       100         101      17000         13500
       100         102      17000         13500
       100         145      14000         13500
       100         146      13500         13500
       100         147      12000         13500
       100         148      11000         13500
       100         149      10500         13500
       101         108      12000         12000
       101         204      10000         12000
       101         205      12000         12000
       108         109       9000          7800
       108         110       8200          7800
       108         111       7700          7800
       108         112       7800          7800
       108         113       6900          7800
       145         150      10000          8500
       145         151       9500          8500
       145         152       9000          8500
. . .