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Re: A good book

From: Chris Smith <cdsmith_at_twu.net>
Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2006 09:16:08 -0600
Message-ID: <MPG.1f1c1d181c00905e989772@news.altopia.net>


Cimode <cimode_at_hotmail.com> wrote:
> If you look for a math book about databases you won't find it...If you
> look for a computing science book about mathematics you won't find:
> they are interdependent but separate domains.

Are you sure I won't find it? I can find rigorous mathematical treatments of most fields of computer science. For example, there are certainly rigorous treatments of compilers, automata and formal languages, decidability, type theory, algorithms (asymptotics and methods of termination proofs and the like, plus certain subfields such as graph algorithms that are developed in the context of deeper mathematical structures), programming language semantics, etc. etc. By "rigorous", I mean that the book actually proves its subject matter using an axiomatic method and a formal model, rather than merely speculating about things that it claims are true. I would assume that databases and the relational model fit in this category, as well.

If such a thing really doesn't exist for the relational model of databases, that would be rather surprising and disappointing; this especially, given how frequently the idea is brought up that relational databases are on a solid mathematical footing and that provides all manner of advantages. If that's not the case, then I may have to lower my expectations a bit. Certainly there's no irreparable harm in their being lowered, as many areas of applied software engineering lack such a formal theory; but I really rather hope that you are incorrect, and that there are such treatments of the relational model for databases. That others seem to think so gives me hope.

Incidentally, I'm going to stop responding in this thread until I manage to actually read some of the sources suggested thus far. I hope no one thinks I'm ignoring them.

-- 
Chris Smith - Lead Software Developer / Technical Trainer
MindIQ Corporation
Received on Mon Jul 10 2006 - 10:16:08 CDT

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