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Published on Sat, 13 Mar 2010 15:11:21 +0000 Indexed on 2010/03/16 14:51 UTC
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In this article, I’ll show how to get a random subset of data from a DataTable. This is useful when you already have queries that are filtered correctly but returns all the rows.
I came across this situation when I wanted to display a random tag cloud. I already had the query to get the keywords ordered by number of clicks and I wanted to created a tag cloud. Tags that are the most popular should have more chance to get picked and should be displayed larger than less popular ones.
In this code snippet, there is everything you need.
' Min size, in pixel for the tag Private Const MIN_FONT_SIZE As Integer = 9 ' Max size, in pixel for the tag Private Const MAX_FONT_SIZE As Integer = 14 ' Basic function that retreives Tags from a DataBase Public Shared Function GetTags() As MediasTagsDataTable ' Simple call to the TableAdapter, to get the Tags ordered by number of clicks Dim dt As MediasTagsDataTable = taMediasTags.GetDataValide ' If the query returned no result, return an empty DataTable If dt Is Nothing OrElse dt.Rows.Count < 1 Then Return New MediasTagsDataTable End If ' Set the font-size of the group of data ' We are dividing our results into sub set, according to their number of clicks ' Example: 10 results -> [0,2] will get font size 9, [3,5] will get font size 10, [6,8] wil get 11, ... ' This is the number of elements in one group Dim groupLenth As Integer = CType(Math.Floor(dt.Rows.Count / (MAX_FONT_SIZE - MIN_FONT_SIZE)), Integer) ' Counter of elements in the same group Dim counter As Integer = 0 ' Counter of groups Dim groupCounter As Integer = 0 ' Loop througt the list For Each row As MediasTagsRow In dt ' Set the font-size in a custom column row.c_FontSize = MIN_FONT_SIZE + groupCounter ' Increment the counter counter += 1 ' If the group counter is less than the counter If groupLenth <= counter Then ' Start a new group counter = 0 groupCounter += 1 End If Next ' Return the new DataTable with font-size Return dt End Function ' Function that generate the random sub set Public Shared Function GetRandomSampleTags(ByVal KeyCount As Integer) As MediasTagsDataTable ' Get the data Dim dt As MediasTagsDataTable = GetTags() ' Create a new DataTable that will contains the random set Dim rep As MediasTagsDataTable = New MediasTagsDataTable ' Count the number of row in the new DataTable Dim count As Integer = 0 ' Random number generator Dim rand As New Random() While count < KeyCount Randomize() ' Pick a random row Dim r As Integer = rand.Next(0, dt.Rows.Count - 1) Dim tmpRow As MediasTagsRow = dt(r) ' Import it into the new DataTable rep.ImportRow(tmpRow) ' Remove it from the old one, to be sure not to pick it again dt.Rows.RemoveAt(r) ' Increment the counter count += 1 End While ' Return the new sub set Return rep End Function
This method is good because it doesn’t require much work to get it work fast. It is a good concept when you are working with small tables, let says less than 100 records.
If you have more than 100 records, out of memory exception may occur since we are coping and duplicating rows. I would consider using a stored procedure instead.
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