Semantical Constraints for Database Models

  • B. Thalheim
Part of the International Centre for Mechanical Sciences book series (CISM, volume 347)


Modeling of semantics is one of the most difficult tasks in database design. Constraints are used to express database semantics. They are used differently in database models. They express domain restrictions, specify relationships between components and state database behavior. The utilization depends on the richness of the type system used in the model. The relational model is using a simple type system and has a very large set of integrity constraints. Semantical models are using richer type systems which express also different types of integrity constraints. At the same time, the theory of integrity constraints is more complex. Object-oriented models use either a simple type system or type systems like the semantical models. The theory of integrity constraints is still under development. This overview tries to give a unifying framework on integrity constraints.


Functional Dependency Integrity Constraint Database Model Cardinality Constraint Deductive Database 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. [1]
    M. Atkinson, F. Bancilhon, D. DeWitt, K. Dittrich, D. Maier, S. Zdonik, The object-oriented database system manifesto. Proc. Conf. DOOD 89, Kyoto 1989, 40–57.Google Scholar
  2. [2]
    S. Abiteboul, P.C. Kanellakis, The two facets of object-oriented data models. IEEE Data Engineering Bulletin 14, 2, 1991, 3–7Google Scholar
  3. [3]
    S. Abiteboul and V. Vianu, Transactions and integrity constraints. Proc. of Database Systems, 1985, 193–204.Google Scholar
  4. [4]
    S. Al-Fedaghi and B. Thalheim, The key concept in database models. Information systems, 1992.Google Scholar
  5. [5]
    K.R. Apt, Logic programming. In Handbook of Theoretical Computer Science (ed. J. van Leeuwen ), Vol. B, Formal Models and Semantics, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1990, 493–574.Google Scholar
  6. [6]
    P. Atzeni and V. De Antonellis, Relational database theory. Benjamin Cummings, Reading, 1993.zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  7. [7]
    C. Batini, S. Ceri, and S. Navathe, Conceptual database design, An entity-relationship approach. Benjamin Cummings, Redwood, 1992.zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  8. [8]
    A.P. Buchmann, R.S. Carrera, and M.A. Vazquez-Galindo, A generalized constraint and exception handler for an object-oriented CAD-DBMS. IEEE Conf. 1986, 38–49.Google Scholar
  9. [9]
    C. Beeri, M. Dowd, R. Fagin, R. Statman, On the structure of Armstrong relations for functional dependencies. Journal of ACM, Vol. 31, No. 1, January 1984, 30–46.CrossRefzbMATHMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  10. [10]
    C. Beeri, New data models and languages - the challenge. Proc. ACM PODS, 1992.Google Scholar
  11. [11]
    C. Beeri, M. Kifer, An integrated approach to logical design of relational database schemes. ACM TODS, 11, 1986, 159–185.CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  12. [12]
    C. Beeri, B. Thalheim: Can I see your identification, please?, manuscript in preparation, 1993Google Scholar
  13. [13]
    J. Biskup and P. Dublish, Objects in relational database schemes with functional, inclusion and exclusion dependencies. Proc. MFDBS–91, LNCS 495, 1991, 276–290.MathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  14. [14]
    N. Bidoit, Negation in rule-based database languages: A survey. Theoretical computer science 78, 1991, 3–83.CrossRefzbMATHMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  15. [15]
    M.L. Brodie, J. Mylopoulos, and J.W. Schmidt, On conceptual modeling. Springer, Heidelberg, 1984.Google Scholar
  16. [16]
    F. Bry, Query evaluation in recursive databases: Bottom-up and top-down reconciled. ECRC Report IR-KB-64, 1989.Google Scholar
  17. [17]
    F. Bry, Intensional updates: Abduction via deduction. Proc. 7th Int. Conf. on Logic Programming, 1990.Google Scholar
  18. [18]
    R.G.G. Cattell, Object data management: Object-oriented and extended relational database systems. Addison-Wesley, Reading, 1991.Google Scholar
  19. [19]
    S. Ceri and G. Pelagâtti, Distributed databases: Principles and systems. McGraw-Hill, New York, 1984.Google Scholar
  20. [20]
    S. Ceri, G. Gottlob, A. Tanca, Logic Programming and databases. Springer 1991.Google Scholar
  21. [21]
    C. Delobel and M. Adiba, Relational Database Systems. North-Holland, Amsterdam 1985.zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  22. [22]
    J. Demetrovics, G.O.H. Katona, Combinatorial problems of database models. Colloquia Mathematica Societatis Janos Bolyai 42, Algebra, Cominatorics and Logic in Computer Science, Gÿor (Hungary), 1983, 331–352.Google Scholar
  23. [23]
    J. Demetrovics, L.O. Libkin, and I.B. Muchnik. Functional dependencies and the semilattice of closed classes. Proc. MFDBS-89, LNCS 364, 1989, 136–147.MathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  24. [24]
    R. Elmasri and S. TI. Navathe, Fundamentals of database systems. Benjamin/Cummings Publ., Redwood City, 1989.zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  25. [25]
    R.A. Frost, Introduction to knowledge base systems. MacMillan, New York 1986.Google Scholar
  26. [26]
    II. Gallaire and J. Minker, Logic and databases. Plenum Press, New York, 1978.Google Scholar
  27. [27]
    S.K. Gallia, C.-S. Yeung, A generalized model for a relational temporal database. Proc. ACM SIGMOD 1988, June 1988, Chicago, p. 251–259.Google Scholar
  28. [28]
    M.R. Genesereth and N.J. Nilsson, Logical foundations of artificial intelligence. Morgan-Kaufman, los altos, 1988.Google Scholar
  29. [29]
    M. Ginsberg, Nonmonotonic reasoning. Morgan-Kaufman, Los Altos, 1988.Google Scholar
  30. [30]
    G. Gottlob, G. Kappel, and M. Schrefl, Semantics of object-oriented data models–The evolving algebra approach. LNCS 504, Springer 1991, 144–160.Google Scholar
  31. [31]
    H. Gallaire, J. Minker, and J.-M. Nicolas, Advances in database theory, Vol. I, Plenum-Press, New York, 1981.Google Scholar
  32. [32]
    H. Gallaire, J. Minker, and J.-M. Nicolas, Advances in database theory, Vol. II, Plenum-Press, New York, 1983.Google Scholar
  33. [33]
    H. Gallaire, J. Minker, J.M. Nicolas, Logic and databases: a deductive approach. Computing Surveys 16, June 1984, 153–185.CrossRefzbMATHMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  34. [34]
    S.J. Hegner, Decomposition of relational schemata into components defined by both projection and restriction. ACM SIGACT-SIGMOS-SIGART Sym. 1988, 174–183.Google Scholar
  35. [35]
    A. Heuer. Equivalent schemes in semantic, nested relational, and relational database models. LNCS 364, Springer, 1989, 237–253.Google Scholar
  36. [36]
    R. Hull and R. King, Semantic database modeling: Survey, applications, and research isues. ACM Computing Surveys 19, 3, 1987, 201–260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. [37]
    R. Hull. Four Views of Complex Objects: A Sophisticate’s Introduction. In Proc. Conf. on Nested Relations and Complex Objects in Databases (Eds.: S. Abiteboul, P.C. Fischer, and H.J. Schek ), Fischer, and H.J. 1989, 361, 87–116.Google Scholar
  38. [38]
    T. Imielinski, W. Lipski Jr., A systematic approach to relational database theory. ICS PAS Reports 457, Warszawa, 1982.Google Scholar
  39. [39]
    B.E. Jacobs, On database logic. Journal of ACM, 29, 2, 1982, 310–332.CrossRefzbMATHMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  40. [40]
    G. Jaeschke, H.J. Schek, Remarks on the algebra of nonfirst-normal-form relations. Proc. First ACM SIGACT-Sigmod Symposium on Principles of Database Systems, 1982, 124–138.Google Scholar
  41. [41]
    G.O.H. Katona and J. Demetrovics, A survey of some combinatorial results concerning functional dependencies in relational databases. Annals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence, 6, 1992.Google Scholar
  42. [42]
    Y. Kambayashi, Database, a hibiliography. Computer Science Press, Rockville, 1981.Google Scholar
  43. [43]
    P.C. Kanellakis, Elements of relational database theory. In Handbook of Theoretical Computer Science (ed. J. van Leeuwen), Vol. B, Formal Models and Semantics, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1990Google Scholar
  44. [44]
    L. Kerschberg (ed.), Expert database systems. Benjamin Cummings, Menlo-Park, 1987.Google Scholar
  45. [45]
    W. Kim and F.H. Lochovsky (eds.), Object-oriented concepts, databases, and applications. Addison-Wesley, Reading, 1989.Google Scholar
  46. [46]
    M. Kifer and G. Lausen, F-logic: A higher-order language for reasoning about objects, inheritance and schema. Proc. ACM SIGMOD Conf. 1989, 134–146.Google Scholar
  47. [47]
    I. Kobayashi, An overview of database mangement technology. In Advances in Information System Science, ed. J.T. Tou, Vol. 9, Plenum Press, New York, 1985.Google Scholar
  48. [48]
    M. Lenzerini, D. Nardi, and M. Simi (eds.), Inheritance hierarchies in knowledge representation and programming languages. John Wiley, Chichester, 1991. 5J. ACM 29, 2, April 1982, 333–363.Google Scholar
  49. [49]
    U.W. Lipeck and B. Thalheim (eds.), Modelling Database Semantics, Springer Series Workshops in Computing, 1992.Google Scholar
  50. [50]
    D. Maier, The theory of relational databases. Computer Science Press, Rockville, MD, 1983.zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  51. [51]
    V.M. Markowitz, Referential integrity revisited: An object-oriented perspective. Proc. VLDB 1990, 578–589.Google Scholar
  52. [52]
    H. Mannila and K.-J. Räihä, On the complexity of inferring functional dependencies. Discrete Applied Mathematics, 1992.Google Scholar
  53. [53]
    J. Minker (ed.), Foundations of deductive databases and logic programming. Morgan Kaufman, Los Altos, 1988.Google Scholar
  54. [54]
    J.C. Mitchell, Type systems for programming languages. In handbookof Theoretical Computer Science (ed. J. van Leeuwen ), Vol. B, Formal Models and Semantics, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1990, 365–458.Google Scholar
  55. [55]
    J.F. Nilsson, Knowledge base property combinator logic. Information Processing 89 (ed. G.X. Ritter ), Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1989, 661–666.Google Scholar
  56. [56]
    J. Paredaens, P. De Bra, M. Gyssens, and D. Van Gucht. The structure of the relational database model. Springer, Berlin, 1989.CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  57. [57]
    S.V. Petrov, Finite axiomatization of languages for representation of system properties: Axiomatization of dependencies. Information Sciences 47, 1989, 339–372.CrossRefzbMATHMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  58. [58]
    G. Saake, Descriptive specification of database object behaviour, Data and Knowledge Engineering 6 (1991), 47–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. [59]
    H.J. Schek, M.H. Scholl, Evolution of data models. Proc. Database Systems of the 90s, LNCS 466, 1990, 135–153.Google Scholar
  60. [60]
    J.W. Schmidt and C. Thanos (eds.), Foundations of knowledge base management. Springer, Heidelberg, 1989.zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  61. [61]
    D.-G. Shin and K.B. Irani, Fragmenting relations horizontally using a knowledge-based approach. IEEE Transaction on Software Engineering, 17, 9, 1991, 872–883.CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  62. [62]
    K.-D. Schewe, B. Thalheim, I. Wetzel and J.W. Schmidt, Extensible safe object-oriented design of database applications. University Rostock, Computer Science Department, Preprint CS-09–91, 1991.Google Scholar
  63. [63]
    K.-D. Schewe, B. Thalheim, and I. Wetzel, Foundations of object-oriented concepts. Technical Report, Computer Science Department, Hamburg University, FBI - HH - B - 157 /92, Aug. 1992.Google Scholar
  64. [64]
    B. Thalheim, Deductive basis of relations. Proc. MFSSSS 84, LNCS 215, 226–230.Google Scholar
  65. [65]
    B. Thalheim, On the number of keys in relational and nested relational databases. Discrete Applied Mathematics, 38, 1992.Google Scholar
  66. [66]
    B. Thalheim. Dependencies in Relational Databases. Leipzig, Teubner Verlag 1991.CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  67. [67]
    B. Thalheim, Foundations of entity-relationship modeling. Annals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence, 6, 1992.Google Scholar
  68. [68]
    B. Thalheim, Fundamentals of cardinality constraints. Proc. Conf. on Entity-RelationshipApproaches, LNCS 645, 7–23, 1992.Google Scholar
  69. [69]
    B. Thalheim, Database design strategies. This volume, 1993.Google Scholar
  70. [70]
    B. Thalheim, Fundamentals of Entity-Relationship models. Springer, Heidelberg 1993.Google Scholar
  71. [71]
    A. Thayse (ed.), From modal logic to deductive databases. John Wiley, vol. 1: 1989, vol. 2: 1990.Google Scholar
  72. [72]
    J. D. Ullman. Principles of database and knowledge-base systems. Computer Science Press, 1989.Google Scholar
  73. [73]
    M.Y. Vardi, Fundamentals of dependency theory. In Trends in Theoretical Computer Science (ed. E. Borger), Computer Science Press, Rockville, 171–224.Google Scholar
  74. [74]
    P. Wadler, List comprehensions. Chapter 7 in P. Jones, The implementation of functional programming languages. Prentice Hall, New York, 1987.Google Scholar
  75. [75]
    M. Wirsing, Algebraic specification. In Handbook of Theoretical Computer Science (ed. J. van Leeuwen ), Vol. B, Formal Models and Semantics, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1990, 675–788.Google Scholar
  76. [76]
    C.-C. Yang, Relational databases. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, 1986.Google Scholar
  77. [77]
    L.-Y. Yuan and Z.M. Ozsoyoglu, Design of desirable relational database schemes. JCSS 1992, 45, 3, 1992, 435–470.zbMATHMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  78. [78]
    M.S. Zalenko, Modeling semantics in data bases. Science, Moscov, 1989 (in Russian).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Thalheim
    • 1
  1. 1.Cottbus Technical UniversityCottbusGermany

Personalised recommendations