Encyclopedia of Database Systems

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

Data Generation

  • Philippe BonnetEmail author
  • Dennis Shasha
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_80799


Tuple generation


In the context of database systems, data generation refers to the creation of synthetic data sets that can be used to populate a database. For relational database systems, tuples are generated based on the definition of one or several tables, as well as constraints (e.g., the cardinality of an attribute and the distribution of its values). For XML databases, documents are generated based on a schema as well as constraints (e.g., cardinality constraints over XPath queries). For graph databases, many algorithms have been devised for generating graphs with given properties (e.g., diameter or density).

Scientific Fundamentals

Data generation is the generation of basic combinatorial patterns. As Donald Knuth explained in his fascicle on “Generating all n-tuples,” the problem is to devise algorithms that systematically traverse a combinatorial space of possibilities.

The first issue is to determine the nature of that space. It is constrained by...
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Recommended Reading

  1. 1.
    Bruno N, Chaudhuri S. Flexible database generators. In: Proceedings of the 31st International Conference on Very Large Data Bases; 2005. p. 1097–107.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Arasu A, Kaushik R, Li J. Data generation using declarative constraints. In: Proceedings of the 2011 ACM SIGMOD International Conference on Management of Data; 2011. p. 685–96. https://doi.org/10.1145/1989323.1989395.
  3. 3.
    Knuth DE. The art of computer programming, volume 4, fascicle 3: generating all combinations and partitions. Upper Saddle River: Addison-Wesley Professional; 2005.zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Olston C, Chopra S, Srivastava U. Generating example data for dataflow programs. In: Binnig C, Dageville B, editors. Proceedings of the 2009 ACM SIGMOD International Conference on Management of Data; 2009. p. 245–56. https://doi.org/10.1145/1559845.1559873.

Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceIT University of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Dennis Shasha
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA