Encyclopedia of Database Systems

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


  • Bernhard ThalheimEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4899-7993-3_4-2



Abstraction allows developers to concentrate on the essential, relevant, or important parts of an application. It uses a mapping to a model from things in reality or from virtual things. The model has the truncation property, i.e., it lacks some of the details in the original, and a pragmatic property, i.e., the model use is only justified for particular model users, tools of investigation, and periods of time. Database engineering uses construction abstraction, context abstraction, and refinement abstraction. Construction abstraction is based on the principles of hierarchical structuring, constructor composition, and generalization. Context abstraction assumes that the surroundings of a concept are commonly understood by a community or within a culture and focuses on the concept, turning away attention from its...

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Recommended Reading

  1. 1.
    Börger E. The ASM refinement method. Form Asp Comput. 2003;15:237–57.CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Smith JM, Smith DCW. Data base abstractions: aggregation and generalization. ACM Trans Database Syst. 1977;2(2):105–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Thalheim B. Entity-relationship modeling – foundations of database technology. Springer; 2000.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Christian-Albrechts University KielKielGermany

Section editors and affiliations

  • David W. Embley
    • 1
  1. 1.Brigham Young UniversityProvoUSA