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RE: Finding overlapping time periods - suggestions please

From: Lord David <>
Date: Sat, 01 Nov 2003 03:39:39 -0800
Message-ID: <>

Here's a simple programmatic method (careful, I haven't tested it).


   v_activity_count number := 0;

   for rec in (

      select start_time event_time, 'start' event_type from some_table
      select end_time event_time, 'end' event_type from some_table order by

   ) loop

      if(rec.event_type = 'start') then
         v_activity_count:= v_activity_count + 1;
         v_activity_count:= v_activity_count - 1;
      end if
      if(v_activity_count = 1) then

-- One activity
elseif(v_activity_count > 1) then
-- Overlapping activities
-- Nothing going on
end if;

   end loop;

David Lord
-----Original Message-----
[] Sent: 31 October 2003 18:25
To: Multiple recipients of list ORACLE-L

I was wondering if anyone had the need to find overlapping time periods and how to identify them efficiently.
Here is the scenario:
Elapsed minutes refer to the actual "clock" time either spent on a given task. Thus an activity that started at 9:00 am and finished at 11:00 am on the same day is said to have 120 elapsed minutes. If one task overlaps another (either completely or partially with another task), then the tasks are said to be "multitasked". In that case the system will store the portion of the elapsed time that was multitasked as "elapsed multitask minutes" and the portion of the time that was not overlapped as "elapsed single minutes". In addition, for the portion of time that two or more activities were simultaneously taking place; their time will be divided by the number of simultaneous activities and stored as "prorated multi minutes". The sum of Elapsed Single Minutes and Prorated Minutes will equal the actual clock time that a vehicle was active. The following example should help to illustrate these concepts. In the table below a list of fictitious activities for a vehicle are shown in addition to how the time is allocated to the various measures:

Activity        Start Time      End Time        Elapsed Minutes Elapsed
Multitask Minutes       Elapsed Single Minutes  Prorated Multi Minutes
Prorated Minutes       
1       10:00   12:00   120     60      60      25      85     
3       11:00   13:00   120     120     0       55      55     
4       11:30   13:30   120     90      30      40      70     
7       13:30   16:00   150     0       150     0       150    
Totals                  510     270     240     120     360    
The vehicle was active from 10:00 to 16:00, a total of 6 hours (360 minutes) which is equal to the total of Prorated Minutes. The vehicle performed 8 hours (510 minutes) of work during that 6-hour time span. This can be arrived at by adding the total of Elapsed Multitask Minutes (270) + the total of Elapsed Single Minutes (240).
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