SQL Aggregates

SQL aggregates are functions that run on the server. They can perform statistics such as Count, Average, Standard Deviation, Min, and Max. Aggregate functions can also be paired with GROUP BY to calculate statistics for different groupings of data.

Django supports aggregate functions as of 1.1. Read more about it here: Django Aggregates

SELECT COUNT(L1), MIN(L1), MAX(L1), AVG(L1), STDDEV(L1) FROM pgd_core_residue GROUP BY aa;

Aggregate functions increase the speed of calculations because they are run on the data in place. Transferring data between the database server and application server requires significant overhead.

Statistics for Dihedral Angles

Dihedral angles require special function for average and standard deviation. The special function takes into account that the angles may wrap around from 180 to -180. Both of these functions work like any other aggregate functions. They have also been wrapped in a custom Django Aggregate function to work with django querysets.





) + 180 ,DEGREES(ATAN2(


) - 180

) AS ome_avg

This works by converting the value into vectors. It adjusts the angles by +180 or -180 depending on whether it is a positive or negative angle. This shifts the vectors into the same space so that they may be averaged.

Standard Deviation

IF (((ome+360)%360 - avgs.ome_avg) < 180 ,SUM(POW((ome+360)%360-avgs.ome_avg, 2)) ,SUM(POW(360-((ome+360)%360-avgs.ome_avg),2))


This function is very similar to a normal standard deviation calculation. The only difference is that a dihedral angle can have two deviations, the short and long way around the circle. We always want to use the shortest distance.

Average Selection

This standard deviation aggregate requires that the average be passed in. There are only two ways to match a list of averages to groups, subqueries or case logic. Neither is an ideal solution but case logic is the lesser of two evils.


This results in queries that are very long (text size), but execution time is fast enough.