Lecture 6: Tuple Relational Calculus

Title slideAnother lecture, another language. This one is the Tuple Relational Calculus for specifying queries that describe information to be extracted from the linked tables of a relational database. There’s a separation of roles here: the tuple relational calculus is good for succinctly stating what we want to find out; while relational algebra from the last lecture describes how to combine and sift tables to extract that information from the data. We distinguish what information we want from how to compute it.
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Lecture 5: Relational Algebra

Title slideThis morning’s lecture presented a mathematical language for slicing and dicing the structured tables of the relational model: selection, projection, renaming; union, intersection, difference; cross product, join, equijoin and natural join. A key feature of this relational algebra is that just six of these operations are enough to capture an extremely wide range of queries and transformations of data. Database implementors work hard to build highly efficient engines to carry out these operations, which can then support many different kinds of user application.
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Lecture 4: From ER Diagrams to Relational Models

Title Slide
Today’s lecture reviewed the high-level conceptual language of ER diagrams and the more concrete structures of the relational model; followed by some recipes for translating from the first into the second. This isn’t always an exact match, and for any particular ER diagram we might go back to its original scenario description to decide how to best represent it as a relational model. Even so, this kind of step-by-step staging towards a fully formal representation is an effective route to capturing the subtleties of real-world systems.
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Tutorial Exercises

First pageI have uploaded the first set of tutorial exercises. Click on the thumbnail to the right, or go to the tutorial web page to download them. Please read the information box on the opening page before you start work on these.

I have a large number of requests from students to change tutorial groups. That’s fine, but it’s taking a while to plan a set of revisions that will avoid everyone’s clashes and still keep the group sizes reasonable. Please be patient: you should all be in appropriate groups as requested before next week.

Link: Information about Inf1-DA tutorials

Lecture 3: The Relational Model

Title slideThis first part of morning’s lecture picked up from Lecture 2 to complete an overview of Entity-Relationship modelling and ER-diagrams. The remainder set out the basic elements of the Relational Model for structured data. Where ER diagrams aim to give a conceptual language for describing things as they are, and have applications well outside databases for general organisation and management, the relational model is explicitly intended as a mathematically precise scheme for the computer-assisted building and querying of large datasets.
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Inf1-DA 2015–2016