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# Combinations from SQL

Posted on 2012-04-12
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Hi,

I am looking to work out all combinations of a given numeric field in a table.  Let’s assume that I have 3 different numbers in this data set.   To find all permutations I have this piece of code, which joins the same table in twice to account for the 3 different numbers:

select             c.item,
d.item,
e.item
from            dbo.tbl_MyItems as c
inner join                       dbo.tbl_MyItems as d
on            c.ID = d.ID
inner join                  dbo.tbl_MyItems as e
on            c.ID = e.ID
where            c.id = '1'
group by                        c.item,
d.item,
e.item

It returns 27 rows (all permutations).  However, I am not concerned with the order of the numbers just that I have the number once even where it is repeated.  So my evaluated output would look like the following, giving me 7 unique rows:

1:        1      1      1            1
2:        1      1      2            1,2
3:        1      1      3            1,3
4:        1      2      1            Same as row 2
5:        1      2      2            Same as row 2
6:        1      2      3            1,2,3
7:        1      3      1            same as row 3
8:        1      3      2            same as row 6
9:        1      3      3            same as row 3
10:        2      1      1            same as row 2
11:        2      1      2            same as row 2
12:        2      1      3            same as row 6
13:        2      2      1            same as row 2
14:        2      2      2            2
15:        2      2      3            2,3
16:        2      3      1            same as row 6
17:        2      3      2            same as row 15
18:        2      3      3            same as row 15
19:        3      1      1            same as row 3
20:        3      1      2            same as row 6
21:        3      1      3            same as row 3
22:        3      2      1            same as row 6
23:        3      2      2            same as row 15
24:        3      2      3            same as row 15
25:        3      3      1            same as row 3
26:        3      3      2            same as row 15
27:        3      3      3            3

I appreciate that I have gone one step further than asking for combinations here (of which there are 10) and have 'normalised' (for want of a better word!) the set, but is there any way of asking SQL to output this (just the combinations) rather than full list of permutations?

Many thanks!!
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Question by:TheDV
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1 Comment

LVL 23

Accepted Solution

wdosanjos earned 500 total points
ID: 37841848
``````declare @tbl_MyItems table (item int)

insert into @tbl_MyItems values (1)
insert into @tbl_MyItems values (2)
insert into @tbl_MyItems values (3)

select  distinct
c.item,
case when e.item > c.item and e.item > d.item then e.item else null end as item,
case when d.item > c.item and d.item < e.item then d.item else null end as item
from  @tbl_MyItems as c,
@tbl_MyItems as d,
@tbl_MyItems as e

/* Output

item        item        item
----------- ----------- -----------
1           NULL        NULL
1           2           NULL
1           3           NULL
1           3           2
2           NULL        NULL
2           3           NULL
3           NULL        NULL

*/
``````
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