Publication
SIGMOD 1976
Conference paper

A constructive definition of third normal form

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Abstract

The concept of normalisation and the definition of third normal form occupy a central place in the relational model of database. Normalisation has been described as an analytic process in which an initially unconstrained collection of relations is successively decomposed into a collection of smaller relations satisfying the constraints of the three normal forms. Normalised relations constitute the basis on which data manipulation languages - relational algebra, relational calculus and others - have been defined. As yet, however, there is no generally recognised data definition language for the relational model. A pre-requisite for this would be a constructive definition of third normal form, that is, a definition in terms of rules for building normalised relations from simple domains. This paper considers how such a definition may be achieved by applying two ideas derived from the study of programming languages; the notion of data type, and the notion of a selector as used in formal language definition. The result is an abstract syntax of relations. This is compared with the standard definition of normalisation and its completeness is critically examined.

Date

02 Jun 1976

Publication

SIGMOD 1976

Authors

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