LIS 558 - Relational database design

Relation

Given n sets D1, D2, D3, ...DN, R is a relation over these sets if R is a set of ordered n-tuples of the form <d1, d2, ..., dn>, where d1 is an element from D1, etc.

D1, D2, ...DN are called the domains of R.

Terminology

Formal Informal Data Processing
relation table file
tuple row record
attribute column field

The primary key is that attribute or set of attributes (composite key) which is used to uniquely identify one tuple from another.

A relational database is a collection of relations for an application with some normalization.

Goals of database design

  1. Have the capability of storing all pertinent data in the database.
  2. Eliminate redundant data.
  3. Keep the number of relations to a minimum.
  4. Have the relations normalized, so as to minimize insertion, update, and deletion problems.
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    Last updated July 5, 2001.
    This page maintained by Prof. Tim Craven
    E-mail (text/plain only): craven@uwo.ca
    Faculty of Information and Media Studies
    University of Western Ontario,
    London, Ontario
    Canada, N6A 5B7