A Normal Form for Relational Databases that is based on Domains and Keys

Ronald Fagin

Citation
Ronald Fagin, A Normal Form for Relational Databases that is based on Domains and Keys, ACM Transactions on Database Systems, 6(3):387-415, September 1981.
Descriptions
Abstract:

A new normal form for relational databases, called domain-key normal form (DK/NF), is defined. Also, formal definitions of insertion anomaly and deletion anomaly are presented. It is shown that a schema is in DK/NF if and only if it has no insertion or deletion anomalies. Unlike previously defined normal forms, DK/NF is not defined in terms of traditional dependencies (functional, multivalued, or join). Instead, it is defined in terms of the more primitive concepts of domain and key, along with the general concept of a "constraint." We also consider how the definitions of traditional normal forms might be modified by taking into consideration, for the first time, the combinatorial consequences of bounded domain sizes. It is shown that after this modification, these traditional normal forms are all implied by DK/NF. In particular, if all domains are infinite, then these traditional normal forms are all implied by DK/NF.

Annotation:

Keywords: DK/NF (Domain-Key Normal Form);

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