Formalization of data base models

  • Dines Bjørner
Constructive Definitions
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 86)


We present abstract, Denotational Semantics models of File Systems and Data Base Languages. The techniques of constructive — as opposed to algebraic — semantics definitions of software, as well as the notation of the specification language, is introduced through a variety of examples of simple file systems. Then these principles of software abstractions are applied to the semantics analysis of both Relational- & Network Data Base Models (i.e. Languages). From the former we illustrate both the relational algebra- and the predicate caluculus- based query languages. Within the Network Model we formalize the notion of Bachman-, i.e. Data Structure-, Diagrams, and the data manipulation language commands applicable to such CODASYL/DBTG-like data models.

The triple aims of the paper are: to teach formalization methods; to advocate the use of abstract models in the Data Base (research) area; and to present the result of some such semantics analysis efforts — hoping thereby to shed light on properties of e.g. CODASYL/DBTG proposals.


File System Query Language Denotational Semantic Range Relation Abstract Data Type 


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5. References & Bibliography

  1. [Bachman 70]
    C.Bachman: "Data Structure Diagrams", ‘Data Base', journal of ACM SIGBDP, vol.1, no.2, Summer 1969.Google Scholar
  2. [Biller 74]
    H. Biller & E.J. Neuhold: "Formal View on Schema-Subschema Correspondance", ‘IFIP Congress Proceedings', North-Holland, Amsterdam 1974.Google Scholar
  3. [Biller 75]
    — & Glatthaar: "On the Semantics of Data Bases: The Semantics of Data Definition Languages", Springer-Verlag, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 34, 1975.Google Scholar
  4. [Biller 76]
    —: "On the Semantics of Data Bases: The Semantics of Data Manipulation Languages", ‘Modelling in Data Base Management Systems’ (ed. G.M. Nijssen), IFIP TC-2 Working Conf., North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1976.Google Scholar
  5. [Bjørner 79]
    D.Bjørner: "The Vienna Development Method: Software Abstraction and Program Synthesis", Int'l Conf. on Math. Studies of Information Processing, Res.Inst.Math.Sci., Kyoto, Japan, 1978 — Springer-Verlag, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol.75, 1979.Google Scholar
  6. [CODASYL]
    "Data Base Task Group (DBTG), CODASYL, April 1971 Report", ACM, 1971.Google Scholar
  7. [Hansal 76]
    A.Hansal: "A Formal Definition of a Relational Data Base System", IBM Sci.Ctr., Peterlee, Techn.Rept. UKSC 00 80, 1976.Google Scholar
  8. [Nilsson 76]
    J.F.Nilsson: "Relational Data Base Systems — Formalization and Realization", Ph.D.Thesis, Dept.of Comp.Sci.,Techn. Univ.of Denmark, ID-641, Sept.1976.Google Scholar
  9. [Jones 80]
    C.B. Jones: "Software Development: A Rigorous Approach", Prentice-Hall International, Reading, UK, 1980.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dines Bjørner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceTechnical University of DenmarkDenmark

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