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st: Memory, merge, and joinby

From   "Wallace, John" <>
To   "''" <>
Subject   st: Memory, merge, and joinby
Date   Wed, 27 Aug 2003 11:57:48 -0700

I'm attempting to bring some new variables into a dataset I'm working with
using .joinby and am having some memory problems.  I've used .set memory to
expand the system memory (Win2000 on a 512MB system) devoted to Stata up to
450MB, but I keep getting an out of memory error (red text with

The dataset doesn't seem very large to me - its only 450 observations with
45 variables, and I'm bringing in 2 additional variables (approximately the
same number of obs.)

The smaller dataset is the master, and the larget set is the using (no
particular reason for that order, other than I was working on normalizing
the smaller dataset in preparation for joining).  I've specified
unmatched(using) for curating the merged data set.

What is the difference between the way .merge and .joinby work?  I've been
using joinby because it appears to work the same way relational databases
do, and I'm familiar with that concept.  Is merge less memory intensive?
Is there a way to estimate what memory requirements a dataset of a given
size would have?

Thanks for any guidance

John Wallace
Research Associate
Affymetrix, Inc

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