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Conditional Expressions

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Conditional Expressions

CASE

The CASE expression is a kind of conditional expression that can be used to return different values based on specific conditions, similar to the if-else statements in other languages.

The CASE expression consists of the following parts:

  • CASE keyword: Indicates the start of the CASE expression.
  • WHEN-THEN clauses: There may be multiple clauses used to define conditions and give results. This clause is divided into two parts, WHEN and THEN. The WHEN part defines the condition, and the THEN part defines the result expression. If the WHEN condition is true, the corresponding THEN result is returned.
  • ELSE clause: If none of the WHEN conditions is true, the result in the ELSE clause will be returned. The ELSE clause can be omitted.
  • END keyword: Indicates the end of the CASE expression.

The CASE expression is a scalar operation that can be used in combination with any other scalar operation or aggregate function.

In the following text, all THEN parts and ELSE clauses will be collectively referred to as result clauses.

Syntax

The CASE expression supports two formats.

  • Format 1:

    CASE 
        WHEN condition1 THEN expression1
        [WHEN condition2 THEN expression2] ...
        [ELSE expression_end]
    END
    

    The conditions will be evaluated one by one.

    The first condition that is true will return the corresponding expression.

  • Format 2:

    CASE caseValue
        WHEN whenValue1 THEN expression1
        [WHEN whenValue2 THEN expression2] ...
        [ELSE expression_end]
    END
    

    The caseValue will be evaluated first, and then the whenValues will be evaluated one by one. The first whenValue that is equal to the caseValue will return the corresponding expression.

    Format 2 will be transformed into an equivalent Format 1 by iotdb.

    For example, the above SQL statement will be transformed into:

    CASE 
        WHEN caseValue=whenValue1 THEN expression1
        [WHEN caseValue=whenValue1 THEN expression1] ...
        [ELSE expression_end]
    END
    

If none of the conditions are true, or if none of the whenValues match the caseValue, the expression_end will be returned.

If there is no ELSE clause, null will be returned.

Notes

  • In format 1, all WHEN clauses must return a BOOLEAN type.
  • In format 2, all WHEN clauses must be able to be compared to the CASE clause.
  • All result clauses in a CASE expression must satisfy certain conditions for their return value types:
    • BOOLEAN types cannot coexist with other types and will cause an error if present.
    • TEXT types cannot coexist with other types and will cause an error if present.
    • The other four numeric types can coexist, and the final result will be of DOUBLE type, with possible precision loss during conversion.
    • If necessary, you can use the CAST function to convert the result to a type that can coexist with others.
  • The CASE expression does not implement lazy evaluation, meaning that all clauses will be evaluated.
  • The CASE expression does not support mixing with UDFs.
  • Aggregate functions cannot be used within a CASE expression, but the result of a CASE expression can be used as input for an aggregate function.
  • When using the CLI, because the CASE expression string can be lengthy, it is recommended to provide an alias for the expression using AS.

Using Examples

Example 1

The CASE expression can be used to analyze data in a visual way. For example:

  • The preparation of a certain chemical product requires that the temperature and pressure be within specific ranges.
  • During the preparation process, sensors will detect the temperature and pressure, forming two time-series T (temperature) and P (pressure) in IoTDB.
    In this application scenario, the CASE expression can indicate which time parameters are appropriate, which are not, and why they are not.

data:

IoTDB> select * from root.test1
+-----------------------------+------------+------------+
|                         Time|root.test1.P|root.test1.T|
+-----------------------------+------------+------------+
|2023-03-29T11:25:54.724+08:00|   1000000.0|      1025.0|
|2023-03-29T11:26:13.445+08:00|   1000094.0|      1040.0|
|2023-03-29T11:27:36.988+08:00|   1000095.0|      1041.0|
|2023-03-29T11:27:56.446+08:00|   1000095.0|      1059.0|
|2023-03-29T11:28:20.838+08:00|   1200000.0|      1040.0|
+-----------------------------+------------+------------+

SQL statements:

select T, P, case
when 1000<T and T<1050 and 1000000<P and P<1100000 then "good!"
when T<=1000 or T>=1050 then "bad temperature"
when P<=1000000 or P>=1100000 then "bad pressure"
end as `result`
from root.test1

output:

+-----------------------------+------------+------------+---------------+
|                         Time|root.test1.T|root.test1.P|         result|
+-----------------------------+------------+------------+---------------+
|2023-03-29T11:25:54.724+08:00|      1025.0|   1000000.0|   bad pressure|
|2023-03-29T11:26:13.445+08:00|      1040.0|   1000094.0|          good!|
|2023-03-29T11:27:36.988+08:00|      1041.0|   1000095.0|          good!|
|2023-03-29T11:27:56.446+08:00|      1059.0|   1000095.0|bad temperature|
|2023-03-29T11:28:20.838+08:00|      1040.0|   1200000.0|   bad pressure|
+-----------------------------+------------+------------+---------------+

Example 2

The CASE expression can achieve flexible result transformation, such as converting strings with a certain pattern to other strings.

data:

IoTDB> select * from root.test2
+-----------------------------+--------------+
|                         Time|root.test2.str|
+-----------------------------+--------------+
|2023-03-27T18:23:33.427+08:00|         abccd|
|2023-03-27T18:23:39.389+08:00|         abcdd|
|2023-03-27T18:23:43.463+08:00|       abcdefg|
+-----------------------------+--------------+

SQL statements:

select str, case
when str like "%cc%" then "has cc"
when str like "%dd%" then "has dd"
else "no cc and dd" end as `result`
from root.test2

output:

+-----------------------------+--------------+------------+
|                         Time|root.test2.str|      result|
+-----------------------------+--------------+------------+
|2023-03-27T18:23:33.427+08:00|         abccd|      has cc|
|2023-03-27T18:23:39.389+08:00|         abcdd|      has dd|
|2023-03-27T18:23:43.463+08:00|       abcdefg|no cc and dd|
+-----------------------------+--------------+------------+

Example 3: work with aggregation functions

Valid: aggregation function ← CASE expression

The CASE expression can be used as a parameter for aggregate functions. For example, used in conjunction with the COUNT function, it can implement statistics based on multiple conditions simultaneously.

data:

IoTDB> select * from root.test3
+-----------------------------+------------+
|                         Time|root.test3.x|
+-----------------------------+------------+
|2023-03-27T18:11:11.300+08:00|         0.0|
|2023-03-27T18:11:14.658+08:00|         1.0|
|2023-03-27T18:11:15.981+08:00|         2.0|
|2023-03-27T18:11:17.668+08:00|         3.0|
|2023-03-27T18:11:19.112+08:00|         4.0|
|2023-03-27T18:11:20.822+08:00|         5.0|
|2023-03-27T18:11:22.462+08:00|         6.0|
|2023-03-27T18:11:24.174+08:00|         7.0|
|2023-03-27T18:11:25.858+08:00|         8.0|
|2023-03-27T18:11:27.979+08:00|         9.0|
+-----------------------------+------------+

SQL statements:

select
count(case when x<=1 then 1 end) as `(-∞,1]`,
count(case when 1<x and x<=3 then 1 end) as `(1,3]`,
count(case when 3<x and x<=7 then 1 end) as `(3,7]`,
count(case when 7<x then 1 end) as `(7,+∞)`
from root.test3

output:

+------+-----+-----+------+
|(-∞,1]|(1,3]|(3,7]|(7,+∞)|
+------+-----+-----+------+
|     2|    2|    4|     2|
+------+-----+-----+------+
Invalid: CASE expression ← aggregation function

Using aggregation function in CASE expression is not supported

SQL statements:

select case when x<=1 then avg(x) else sum(x) end from root.test3

output:

Msg: 701: Raw data and aggregation result hybrid calculation is not supported.

Example 4: kind 2

Here is a simple example that uses the format 2 syntax.
If all conditions are equality tests, it is recommended to use format 2 to simplify SQL statements.

data:

IoTDB> select * from root.test4
+-----------------------------+------------+
|                         Time|root.test4.x|
+-----------------------------+------------+
|1970-01-01T08:00:00.001+08:00|         1.0|
|1970-01-01T08:00:00.002+08:00|         2.0|
|1970-01-01T08:00:00.003+08:00|         3.0|
|1970-01-01T08:00:00.004+08:00|         4.0|
+-----------------------------+------------+

SQL statements:

select x, case x when 1 then "one" when 2 then "two" else "other" end from root.test4

output:

+-----------------------------+------------+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|                         Time|root.test4.x|CASE WHEN root.test4.x = 1 THEN "one" WHEN root.test4.x = 2 THEN "two" ELSE "other"|
+-----------------------------+------------+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|1970-01-01T08:00:00.001+08:00|         1.0|                                                                                one|
|1970-01-01T08:00:00.002+08:00|         2.0|                                                                                two|
|1970-01-01T08:00:00.003+08:00|         3.0|                                                                              other|
|1970-01-01T08:00:00.004+08:00|         4.0|                                                                              other|
+-----------------------------+------------+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------+

Example 5: type of return clauses

The result clause of a CASE expression needs to satisfy certain type restrictions.

In this example, we continue to use the data from Example 4.

Invalid: BOOLEAN cannot coexist with other types

SQL statements:

select x, case x when 1 then true when 2 then 2 end from root.test4

output:

Msg: 701: CASE expression: BOOLEAN and other types cannot exist at same time
Valid: Only BOOLEAN type exists

SQL statements:

select x, case x when 1 then true when 2 then false end as `result` from root.test4

output:

+-----------------------------+------------+------+
|                         Time|root.test4.x|result|
+-----------------------------+------------+------+
|1970-01-01T08:00:00.001+08:00|         1.0|  true|
|1970-01-01T08:00:00.002+08:00|         2.0| false|
|1970-01-01T08:00:00.003+08:00|         3.0|  null|
|1970-01-01T08:00:00.004+08:00|         4.0|  null|
+-----------------------------+------------+------+
Invalid:TEXT cannot coexist with other types

SQL statements:

select x, case x when 1 then 1 when 2 then "str" end from root.test4

output:

Msg: 701: CASE expression: TEXT and other types cannot exist at same time
Valid: Only TEXT type exists

See in Example 1.

Valid: Numerical types coexist

SQL statements:

select x, case x
when 1 then 1
when 2 then 222222222222222
when 3 then 3.3
when 4 then 4.4444444444444
end as `result`
from root.test4

output:

+-----------------------------+------------+-------------------+
|                         Time|root.test4.x|             result|
+-----------------------------+------------+-------------------+
|1970-01-01T08:00:00.001+08:00|         1.0|                1.0|
|1970-01-01T08:00:00.002+08:00|         2.0|2.22222222222222E14|
|1970-01-01T08:00:00.003+08:00|         3.0|  3.299999952316284|
|1970-01-01T08:00:00.004+08:00|         4.0|   4.44444465637207|
+-----------------------------+------------+-------------------+

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