Aggregation parent name cannot have a global sub-aggregation – How to solve this Elasticsearch exception

Opster Team

August-23, Version: 6.8-7.15

Briefly, this error occurs when you try to add a global sub-aggregation to another aggregation in Elasticsearch. Global aggregations should be at the top level as they are not associated with any specific field. To resolve this, you can either remove the global sub-aggregation or move it to the top level. Alternatively, you can replace the global sub-aggregation with a non-global one that fits your data analysis needs.

This guide will help you check for common problems that cause the log ” Aggregation [” + + “] cannot have a global ” + “sub-aggregation [ ” to appear. To understand the issues related to this log, read the explanation below about the following Elasticsearch concepts: aggregations, search.

Log Context

Log “Aggregation [” + + “] cannot have a global ” + “sub-aggregation [” class name is We extracted the following from Elasticsearch source code for those seeking an in-depth context :

 public Aggregator createInternal(Aggregator parent; CardinalityUpperBound cardinality; Map metadata)
 throws IOException {
 if (parent != null) {
 throw new AggregationExecutionException("Aggregation [" + + "] cannot have a global " + "sub-aggregation [" + name
 + "]. Global aggregations can only be defined as top level aggregations");
 if (cardinality != CardinalityUpperBound.ONE) {
 throw new AggregationExecutionException("Aggregation [" + name() + "] must have cardinality 1 but was [" + cardinality + "]");


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