Binary decompositions and acyclic schemes

  • V. S. Lakshmanan
  • C. E. Veni Madhavan
Session 4 Theory
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 241)


It is well known that the notions of normal forms and acyclicity capture many practical desirable properties for database schemes. The basic schema design problem is to develop design methodologies that strive toward these ideals. The usual approach is to first normalize the database scheme as far as possible. If the resulting scheme is cyclic, then one tries to transform it into an acyclic scheme. In this paper, we argue in favor of carrying out these two phases of design concurrently. In order to do this efficiently, we need to be able to incrementally analyze the acyclicity status of a database scheme as it is being designed. To this end, we propose the formalism of "binary decompositions". Using this, we characterize design sequences that exactly generate θ-acyclic schemes, for θ = α,β. We then show how our results can be put to use in database design. Finally, we also show that our formalism above can be effectively used as a proof tool in dependency theory. We demonstrate its power by showing that it leads to a significant simplification of the proofs of some previous results connecting sets of multivalued dependencies and acyclic join dependencies.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. S. Lakshmanan
    • 1
  • C. E. Veni Madhavan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer Science & AutomationIndian Institute of ScienceBangaloreIndia

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