A Formal Model for Databases with Applications to Schema Merging
In this paper we present a simple and general model for database schemas and their instances. The model is sufficiently expressive to represent complex, higher order data structures and incorporates representations for specialisation relations and object identity. It is general enough to encode data structures arising from many other semantic data models in a natural way, though we do not attempt to model some of the more sophisticated constraints that occur in other models.
We claim that using a formal mathematical model can help us to understand and deal with various problems arising from database systems, and, to demonstrate this, we present some work on the problem of schema merging that has been carried out using our model.
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