Remarks about Level-Based and Value-Based Hierarchies for Oracle OLAP.
It’s retrieved from Oracle OLAP Application Developer’s Guide 10gR2
“A hierarchy is a way to organize data at different levels of aggregation. In viewing data, analysts use dimension hierarchies to recognize trends at one level, drill down to lower levels to identify reasons for these trends, and roll up to higher levels to see what affect these trends have on a larger sector of the business.
Each level represents a position in the hierarchy. Each level above the base (or most detailed) level contains aggregate values for the levels below it. The members at different levels have a one-to-many parent-child relation. For example, Q1-05 and Q2-05 are the children of 2005, thus 2005 is the parent of Q1-05 and Q2-05.
Suppose a data warehouse contains snapshots of data taken three times a day, that is, every 8 hours. Analysts might normally prefer to view the data that has been aggregated into days, weeks, quarters, or years. Thus, the Time dimension needs a hierarchy with at least five levels.
Similarly, a sales manager with a particular target for the upcoming year might want to allocate that target amount among the sales representatives in his territory; the allocation requires a dimension hierarchy in which individual sales representatives are the child values of a particular territory.
Hierarchies and levels have a many-to-many relationship. A hierarchy typically contains several levels, and a single level can be included in more than one hierarchy.
Although hierarchies are typically composed of levels, they do not have to be. The parent-child relations among dimension members may not define meaningful levels. For example, in an employee dimension, each manager has one or more reports, which forms a parent-child relation. Creating levels based on these relations (such as individual contributors, first-level managers, second-level managers, and so forth) may not be meaningful for analysis. Likewise, the line item dimension of financial data does not have levels. This type of hierarchy is called a value-based hierarchy.”