Encyclopedia of Database Systems

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


  • Cristina SirangeloEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_1258


Projection (Relational Algebra)


Given a relation instance R over set of attributes U, and given a subset X of U, the projection of R on X – denoted by πX(R) – is defined as a relation over set of attributes X whose tuples are the restriction of tuples of R to attributes X. That is, t ∈ πX(R) if and only if t = t′(X) for some tuple t′ of R (here t′(X) denotes the restriction of t′ to attributes X).

Key Points

The projection is one of the basic operators of the relational algebra. It operates by “restricting” the input relation to some of its columns.

The arity of the output relation is bounded by the arity of the input relation. Moreover the number of tuples in πX(R) is bounded by the number of tuples in R. In particular, the size of πX(R) can be strictly smaller than the size of R since different tuples of R may have the same values on attributes X.

As an example, consider a relation Goods over attributes (code, price, quantity), containing tuples {(001, 5.00, 10),...

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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IRIFParis Diderot UniversityParisFrance

Section editors and affiliations

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