Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2018 Edition
| Editors: Ling Liu, M. Tamer Özsu

Database Dependencies

  • Marc GyssensEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_1236


Database constraints; Data dependency


For a relational database to be valid, it is not sufficient that the various tables of which it is composed conform to the database schema. In addition, the instance must also conform to the intended meaning of the database [ 19]. While many aspects of this intended meaning are inherently informal, it will generally induce certain formalizable relationships between the data in the database, in the sense that whenever a certain pattern is present among the data, this pattern can either be extended or certain data values must be equal. Such a relationship is called a database dependency. The vast majority of database dependencies in the literature are of the following form [ 6]:
$$ \begin{array}{ll}&{}\left(\forall {x}_1\right)\dots \left(\forall {x}_n\right)\varphi \left({x}_1,\dots, {x}_n\right)\\ &{}\Rightarrow \left(\exists {z}_1\right)\dots \left(\exists {z}_k\right)\psi \left({y}_1,\dots, {y}_m,{z}_1,\dots,...
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hasselt UniversityHasseltBelgium

Section editors and affiliations

  • Leonid Libkin
    • 1
  1. 1.School of InformaticsUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUK