In a ragged hierarchy, the parent of at least one member does not come from the level immediately above, but a level higher up.
The following diagram shows a Geography hierarchy with Continent, Region, State, and City levels defined. One branch has North America as the continent, Canada as the region, Manitoba as the state, and Winnipeg as the city. Another branch has Europe as the continent, Greece as the region, and Athens as the city, but has no entry for the state level because this level is not applicable. The parent of Athens is at the region level rather than the state level, creating a ragged hierarchy. IBM Cognos® Dynamic Cubes inserts padding members to balance such hierarchies. For more information, see Padding members.