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Sparsity and density is a database concept that defines the number of empty, or sparse, cells and those that are full, or dense. The concept is used in multidimensional database (MDB) architectures to identify the average number of cells that are sparse or unutilized.
Sparsity and density is used to improve database and data processing performance. Sparse cells can be any cell with zero or an empty cell value, while dense cells can include any non-zero value.
A processor must go through all database cells to find and process data. The number of sparse cells is directly proportional to the amount of a processor's "useless" processing. Database administrators use sparsity and density to evaluate and eliminate sparse cells and improve database efficiency.