Re: On Formal IS-A definition

From: Mr. Scott <do_not_reply_at_noone.com>
Date: Thu, 6 May 2010 08:14:05 -0400
Message-ID: <RY6dnTVRULQTL3_WnZ2dnUVZ_hOdnZ2d_at_giganews.com>



<<QUOTE
"Erwin" <e.smout_at_myonline.be> wrote in message news:9fc21a72-6865-4a73-9183-a897275b6fdf_at_37g2000yqm.googlegroups.com... On 6 mei, 09:00, "Mr. Scott" <do_not_re..._at_noone.com> wrote:
> "Tegiri Nenashi" <tegirinena..._at_gmail.com> wrote in message
>
> news:0b2f71d0-34b5-4661-a8f6-21a40cdb9989_at_n37g2000prc.googlegroups.com...
>
>
>
>
>
> > Given the two relations R and S, the R is a subtype of S or simply "R
> > is an S" (was this the source of Reinier blunder?-) iff the two
> > conditions hold:
>
> > 1. R ^ S = R (where the ^ is natural join operation). This can be
> > expressed succinctly as R < S with generalized subset constraint "<".
>
> > The immediate consequence is that the attributes of S are the subset
> > of attributes R (formally: R ^ [] < S ^ [] where the "[]" is the
> > relation with empty set of attributes and empty set of tuples, aka
> > DUM). Then, one may add second requirement that
>
> > 2. Attributes of S form a key in relation R.
>
> > My question is if the condition #2 is really necessary. Consider the
> > two relations:
>
> > Animals = [Name]
> > bear
> > sheep
> > wolf
> > ;
>
> > Carnivores1 = [Name FavoritePrey]
> > bear deer
> > wolf sheep
> > ;
>
> > They satisfy both conditions so that informally we say "Carnivores1"
> > IS-A "Animals".
>
> > Contrast this with
>
> > Animals = [Name]
> > bear
> > sheep
> > wolf
> > ;
>
> > Carnivores2 = [Name Prey]
> > bear deer
> > wolf sheep
> > wolf deer
> > ;
>
> > I suggest that we still have "Carnivores2" IS-A "Animals". Do you
> > agree?
>
> There is a problem here. Which scheme is better?
>
> Employees{taxid,name,startdate} KEY{taxid},
> ContractEmployees{taxid,name,startdate,enddate} KEY{taxid},
> ContractEmployees[taxid,name,startdate] is a subset of
> Employees[taxid,name,startdate]
>
> or
>
> Employees{taxid,name,startdate} KEY{taxid},
> ContractEmployees{taxid,enddate} KEY{taxid},
> ContractEmployees[taxid] is a subset of Employees[taxid]
>
> Clearly the second scheme is equivalent to the first with respect to
> information content, so if a ContractEmployee is an Employee in the first
> scheme, then it must also be in the second, but in the second scheme, the
> set of attributes for Employees is not a subset of the set of attributes
> for
> ContractEmployees. I think the effect of the foreign key constraint,
> namely, that the components of the referenced tuple are effectively
> 'included' with the referencing tuple, must be taken into account.- Tekst
> uit oorspronkelijk bericht niet weergeven -
>
> - Tekst uit oorspronkelijk bericht weergeven -

The first is a violation of BCNF.

>>QUOTE
No, it's not. Both schemes are in BCNF.

<snip> Received on Thu May 06 2010 - 07:14:05 CDT

Original text of this message