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Justification for inclusion dependency normal form

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2 Author(s)
Levene, M. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Univ. Coll. London, UK ; Vincent, M.W.

Functional dependencies (FDs) and inclusion dependencies (INDs) are the most fundamental integrity constraints that arise in practice in relational databases. In this paper, we address the issue of normalization in the presence of FDs and INDs and, in particular, the semantic justification for an inclusion dependency normal form (IDNF), which combines the Boyce-Codd normal form with the restriction on the INDs that they be noncircular and key-based. We motivate and formalize three goals of database design in the presence of FDs and INDs: noninteraction between FDs and INDs, elimination of redundancy and update anomalies, and preservation of entity integrity. We show that (as for FDs), in the presence of INDs, being free of redundancy is equivalent to being free of update anomalies. Then, for each of these properties, we derive equivalent syntactic conditions on the database design. Individually, each of these syntactic conditions is weaker than IDNF and the restriction that an FD is not embedded in the right-hand side of an IND is common to three of the conditions. However, we also show that, for these three goals of database design to be satisfied simultaneously, IDNF is both a necessary and a sufficient condition

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Knowledge and Data Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:12 ,  Issue: 2 )