Foundations of canonical update support for closed database views

  • Stephen J. Hegner
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 470)


A closed view of a database schema is one which is totally encapsulated. Insofar as the user is concerned, the view is the database schema. The rest of the database system is not visible through the view, and is is not required for complete use of the view. Similarly, the updates which may be effected through the view have their scope limited entirely to that view. In this paper, we lay the mathematical foundations for the systematic support of such views. The proper context is shown to be that of update translation under constant meet complement, a refinement of the constant complement strategy of Bancilhon and Spyratos. The central complexity result for relational schemata is that checking the legality of updates is “infinitely” simpler than blindly checking that the new state is legal for the view schema, and in the particular case that the base schema is constrained by functional dependencies, may always be performed in constant time, even if the view schema is not finitely axiomatizable. We further establish that, under very natural assumptions, update strategies for closed views are unique.


Database System Relational Schema Database Schema Large Data Base Relational View 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. [Abi88]
    Abiteboul, S., “Updates, a new frontier,” in: ICDT'88, 2nd International Conference on Database Theory, pp. 1–18, 1988.Google Scholar
  2. [AV89]
    Abiteboul, S. and Vianu, V., “A transaction-based approach to relational database specification,” J. Assoc. Comp. Mach., 36(1989), pp. 758–789.Google Scholar
  3. [AV90]
    Abiteboul, S. and Vianu, V., “Procedural languages for database queries and updates,” 1990, to appear in J. Comput. System Sci.Google Scholar
  4. [BS81a]
    Bancilhon, F. and Spyratos, N., “Independent components of databases,” in: Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Very Large Data Bases, pp. 398–408, 1981.Google Scholar
  5. [BS81b]
    Bancilhon, F. and Spyratos, N., “Update semantics of relational views,” ACM Trans. Database Systems, 6(1981), pp. 557–575.Google Scholar
  6. [BH81]
    Beeri, C. and Honeyman, P., “Preserving functional dependencies,” SIAM J. Computing, 10(1981), pp. 647–656.Google Scholar
  7. [CM76]
    Chandra, A. K. and Merlin, P. M., “Optimal implementation of conjunctive queries in relational databases,” in: Proceedings of the 1976 ACM Symposium on the Theory of Computing, pp. 77–90, 1976.Google Scholar
  8. [CP84]
    Cosmadakis, S. and Papadimitriou, C., “Updates of relational views,” J. Assoc. Comp. Mach., 31(1984), pp. 742–760.MathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  9. [DB78]
    Dayal, U. and Bernstein, P. A., “On the updatability of relational views,” in: Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Very Large Data Bases, pp. 368–474, 1978.Google Scholar
  10. [DB82]
    Dayal, U. and Bernstein, P. A., “On the correct translation of update operations on relational views,” ACM Trans. Database Systems, 8(1982), pp. 381–416.Google Scholar
  11. [End72]
    Enderton, H. B., A Mathematical Introduction to Logic, Academic Press, 1972.Google Scholar
  12. [Fag82]
    Fagin, R., “Horn clauses and database dependencies,” J. Assoc. Comp. Mach., 29(1982), pp. 952–985.Google Scholar
  13. [FV86]
    Fagin, R. and Vardi, M. Y., “The theory of data dependencies — a survey,” in: Anshel, M. and Gewirtz, W., eds., Mathematics of Information Processing, pp. 19–71, American Mathematical Society, 1986.Google Scholar
  14. [Fle55]
    Fleischer, I., “A note on subdirect products,” Acta Math. Acad. Sci. Hungar., 6(1955), pp. 463–465.Google Scholar
  15. [FSdS79]
    Furtado, A. L., Sevcik, K. C., and dos Santos, C. S., “Permitting updates through views of databases,” Information Systems, 4(1979), pp. 269–283.Google Scholar
  16. [Gal86]
    Gallier, J. H., Logic for Computer Science, John Wiley and Sons, 1986.Google Scholar
  17. [GPZ88]
    Gottlob, G., Paolini, P., and Zicari, R., “Properties and update semantics of consistent views,” ACM Trans. Database Systems, 13(1988), pp. 486–524.MathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  18. [GW86]
    Graham, M. H. and Wang, K., “Constant time maintenance or the triumph of the fd,” in: Proceedings of the Fifth ACM SIGACT-SIGMOD Symposium on Principles of Database Systems, pp. 202–216, 1986.Google Scholar
  19. [Gra68]
    Grätzer, G., Universal Algebra, D. Van Nostrand, 1968.Google Scholar
  20. [Heg84]
    Hegner, S. J., “Canonical view update support through Boolean algebras of components,” in: Proceedings of the Third ACM SIGACT-SIGMOD Symposium on Principles of Database Systems, pp. 163–172, 1984.Google Scholar
  21. [Heg89]
    Hegner, S. J., “Unique complements and decompositions of database schemata,” Technical Report PC 12/ 12.89, Centro di Ricerche in Fisica e Matematica (CERFIM), Locarno, Switzerland, 1989. Submitted for publication.Google Scholar
  22. [HS73]
    Herrlich, H. and Strecker, G. E., Category Theory, Allyn and Bacon, 1973.Google Scholar
  23. [JAK82]
    Jacobs, B. E., Aronson, A. R., and Klug, A. C., “On interpretations of relational languages and solutions to the implied constraint problem,” ACM Trans. Database Systems, 7(1982), pp. 291–315.Google Scholar
  24. [Kel82]
    Keller, A., “Updates to relational databases through views involving joins,” in: Schueuermann, P., ed., Improving Database Usability and Responsiveness, pp. 363–384, Academic Press, 1982.Google Scholar
  25. [Kel84]
    Keller, A., “Choosing a view update translator by dialog at view definition time,” in: Proceedings of the Twelfth International Conference on Very Large Data Bases, pp. 467–474, 1984.Google Scholar
  26. [Kel85]
    Keller, A., “Algorithms for translating view updates to database updates for views involving selections, projections, and joins,” in: Proceedings of the Fourth ACM SIGACT-SIGMOD Conference on Principles of Database Systems, pp. 154–163, 1985.Google Scholar
  27. [Kel87]
    Keller, A., “Comments on Bancilhon and Spyratos' “Update semantics of relational views”,” ACM Trans. Database Systems, 12(1987), pp. 521–523.Google Scholar
  28. [Mai83]
    Maier, D., The Theory of Relational Databases, Computer Science Press, 1983.Google Scholar
  29. [Mas84]
    Masunaga, Y., “A relational database view update translation mechanism,” in: Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Very Large Data Bases, pp. 309–320, 1984.Google Scholar
  30. [MT85]
    Medeiras, C. B. and Tompa, F. W., “Understanding the implications of view update policies,” in: Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Very Large Data Bases, pp. 316–323, 1985.Google Scholar
  31. [PDGV89]
    Paredaens, J., De Bra, P., Gyssens, M., and Van Gucht, D., The Structure of the Relational Database Model, Springer-Verlag, 1989.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen J. Hegner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering Votey BuildingUniversity of VermontBurlingtonU.S.A.

Personalised recommendations