Finding The Closest Numeric Match

Kevin Feasel

2018-12-13

T-SQL

Itzik Ben-Gan has a T-SQL puzzle for us:

As you can see, both T1 and T2 have a numeric column (INT type in this example) called val. The challenge is to match to each row from T1 the row from T2 where the absolute difference between T2.val and T1.val is the lowest. In case of ties (multiple matching rows in T2), match the top row based on val ascending, keycol ascending order. That is, the row with the lowest value in the val column, and if you still have ties, the row with the lowest keycol value. The tiebreaker is used to guarantee determinism.

Click through for the details as well as several solutions.

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