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Tutorial 6: Solution

1.

How do the general definitions of 2NF and 3NF, which consider all keys of a relation, differ from those that

consider only primary keys?

In order for a relation schema R to be in 2NF, all non-prime attributes must fully functionally depend on

the primary. However, in order for R to meet the general definition of 2NF, R must be in 1NF and all the

non-prime attributes must be fully functionally dependent on all the keys of the R. If a non-prime attribute

of R partially depends on one of the keys, the R is not in 2NF.

In order for a R to be in 3NF, all non-prime attributes must not transitively depend on the primary key.

However, in order for R to meet the general definition of 3NF, if for all FD X -> Y that holds on R, either X is

a superkey of R or Y is a prime attribute.

A relation schema R violates the general definition of 2NF if a functional dependency X -> Y holds on R that

violates both conditions.

2.

Show three related relations that are in the third normal form.

Empoyee relation

EmployeeNo

Firstname

Lastname

Department

1111

Joe

Blow

1212

2222

Peter

Mark

1313

3333

James

Berry

1212

Department relation

DepartmentNo

Name

1212

Human Resource

1313

Finance

Dependent relation

Employee

DepFirst

1111

John

2222

Mary

3333

Gary

Phone

8521212

8521313

Relationship

Son

Daughter

Son

3.

Transitive dependencies

4.

How does BCNF differ from 3NF? Why is it considered a stronger form of 3NF?

In order for a relation schema R to be in BCNF, if for every FD X Y that holds on R, X is a superkey of R.

According to the definition of 3NF, a relations schema R is in 3NF if and only if every dependency X->Y that

holds on R, at least ONE of the following criteria:

X->Y is trivial (i.e. Y is a subset of X)

X is a superkey

Y is a subset of a candidate key

BCNF doesn't permit the third condition. Therefore BCNF is said to be stronger than 3NF because 3NF permits

some dependencies which BCNF does not.

Page | 1

5.

R (E, F, G, H, I, J)

{E} -> {F, G, H, I, J}

{F, G} -> {E, H, I, J}

{H} -> {I, J}

a.

b.

c.

6.

{E}, {F,G}

Which candidate key should be chosen as the primary key? Hint: Choose one with the less number of

attributes.

{E}

Is the relation schema is 3NF? If not, justify and decompose the relation into 3NF relations.

Not in 3NF because {E} -> {I, J} is transitive. Therefore, 2 relations after decomposition are:

R1(E, F, G, H)

R2(H, I, J)

Consider the following relation for published books and functional dependencies that hold on this relation

schema.

BOOK(ISBN, Title, Author, YearofPublication, Edition, Publisher, PublisherLocation)

{ISBN} -> {Title, Author, YearofPublication, Edition, Publisher, PublisherLocation}

{Title, Edition} -> {ISBN, Author, YearofPublication, Publisher, PublisherLocation}

{Publisher} -> {PublisherLocation}

a.

b.

c.

{ISBN}, {Title, Edition}

Which candidate key should be chosen as the primary key? Hint: Choose one with the less number of

attributes.

{ISBN}

Is the relation schema is 3NF? If not, justify and decompose the relation into 3NF relations.

Not in 3NF because {ISBN} -> {PublisherLocation} is transitive.

Page | 2

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