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Chapter 4, Part B

**Database Management Systems 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 1
**

Relational Calculus

Comes in two flavors: Tuple relational calculus (TRC)

and Domain relational calculus (DRC).

Calculus has variables, constants, comparison ops,

logical connectives and quantifiers.

TRC: Variables range over (i.e., get bound to) tuples.

DRC: Variables range over domain elements (= field values).

Both TRC and DRC are simple subsets of first-order logic.

Expressions in the calculus are called formulas. An

answer tuple is essentially an assignment of

constants to variables that make the formula

evaluate to true.

Database Management Systems 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 2

Tuple Relational Calculus

A tuple variable takes on tuples of a particular relation

schema as values.

A TRC query has the form { T | p(T) }, where T is a

tuple variable and p(T) denotes a formula that

describes T.

the result of this query is the set of all tuples for which the

formula evaluates to true.

Example: Find all sailors with a rating above 7.

{ S | S ∈ Sailors ∧ S.rating > 7 }

**Database Management Systems 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 3
**

Tuple Relational Calculus

Let Rel be a relation name, R and S be tuple

variables, a an attribute of R, and b an attribute of S.

An atomic formula is one of the ff:

R ∈ Rel

R.a op R.b

R.a op constant, or constant op R.a

op denotes an operator in the set { <, >, =, ≤, ≥, ≠ }

an atomic formula R ∈ Rel gives R the type of tuples

in Rel, and comparisons such as R.a op S.b and R.a op

constant induce type restrictions on the field R.a

**Database Management Systems 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 4
**

Tuple Relational Calculus

A formula is recursively defined to be one of the

following, where p and q are themselves formulas,

and p(R) denotes a formula in which the variable R

appears.

any atomic formula

¬p, p∧q, p∨q, or p⇒q

∃R(p(R)), where R is a tuple variable

• is true if p(R) evaluates to true for at least one tuple in R (for some)

• we will use ∃R ∈ Rel(p(R)) for ∃R(R∈Rel ∧ p(R))

∀R(p(R)), where R is a tuple variable

• is true if p(R) evaluates to true for all tuples in R (for all)

• we will use ∀R ∈ Rel(p(R)) for ∀R(R∈Rel ⇒ p(R))

Database Management Systems 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 5

Tuple Relational Calculus

{ S| S ∈ Student ∧ (∃T ∈ Transcript

(S.Id= T.StudId ∧ T.CrsCode= ‘CS305’)) }

A variable is said to be free in a formula if the the

formula does not contain an occurrence of a

quantifier that binds it.

Free variables designate the tuples to be returned by the

query (used in targets)

A tuple variable t is bound if it is quantified - it

appears in a ∃ t or a ∀ t.

quantifiers ∃ and ∀ are said to bind variables

Bound variables are used to make assertions about tuples

Database Management Systems 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 6

Tuple Relational Calculus

Examples:

Find the names and ages of sailors with a rating

above 7.

{ P | ∃S ∈ Sailors(S.rating > 7 ∧ P.name = S.name

∧ P.age = S.age) }

Find the sailor name, boat id, and reservation date

for each reservation.

{ P | ∃R ∈ Reserves ∃S ∈ Sailors

(R.sid = S.sid ∧ P.bid = R.bid ∧ P.day = R.day

∧ P.sname = S.sname) }

**Database Management Systems 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 7
**

Tuple Relational Calculus

Examples:

Find the names of sailors who have reserved boat

103.

{ P | ∃S ∈ Sailors ∃R ∈ Reserves(R.sid = S.sid ∧ R.bid = 103

∧ P.name = S.name) }

Find the names of sailors who have reserved at least

two boats.

{ P | ∃S ∈ Sailors ∃R1 ∈ Reserves ∃R2 ∈ Reserves

(S.sid = R1.sid ∧ R1.sid = R2.sid ∧ R1.bid ≠ R2.bid

∧ P.sname = S.sname) }

**Database Management Systems 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 8
**

Tuple Relational Calculus

Examples:

Find the names of sailors who have reserved a red

boat.

{ P | ∃S ∈ Sailors ∃R ∈ Reserves ∃B ∈ Boats

(R.sid = S.sid ∧ B.bid = R.bid ∧ B.color = ‘red’

∧ P.sname = S.sname) }

Find the names of sailors who have reserved a red

boat.

{ P | ∃S ∈ Sailors ∃R ∈ Reserves(R.sid = S.sid

∧ P.sname = S.sname

∧ ∃B ∈ Boats(B.bid = R.bid ∧ B.color = ‘red’)) }

Database Management Systems 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 9

Tuple Relational Calculus

Examples:

Find the names of sailors who reserved all boats.

{ P | ∃S ∈ Sailors ∀B ∈ Boats

(∃R ∈ Reserves(S.sid = R.sid ∧ B.bid = R.bid

∧ P.sname = S.sname)) }

Find sailors who reserved all red boats.

{ S | S ∈ Sailors ∧ ∀B ∈ Boats

(B.color = ‘red’ ⇒ (∃R ∈ Reserves

(S.sid = R.sid ∧ B.bid = R.bid))) }

**Database Management Systems 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 10
**

Domain Relational Calculus

Query has the form:

** Answer includes all tuples that
**

make the formula be true.

Formula is recursively defined, starting with

simple atomic formulas (getting tuples from

relations or making comparisons of values),

and building bigger and better formulas using

the logical connectives.

Database Management Systems 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 11

DRC Formulas

Atomic formula:

, or X op Y, or X op constant

op is one of

Formula:

an atomic formula, or

, where p and q are formulas, or

, where variable X is free in p(X), or

, where variable X is free in p(X)

The use of quantifiers and is said to bind X.

A variable that is not bound is free.

Database Management Systems 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 12

Free and Bound Variables

The use of quantifiers and in a formula is

said to bind X.

A variable that is not bound is free.

Let us revisit the definition of a query:

** There is an important restriction: the variables
**

x1, ..., xn that appear to the left of `|’ must be

the only free variables in the formula p(...).

**Database Management Systems 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 13
**

Find all sailors with a rating above 7

** The condition ensures that
**

the domain variables I, N, T and A are bound to

fields of the same Sailors tuple.

The term to the left of `|’ (which should

be read as such that) says that every tuple

that satisfies T>7 is in the answer.

Modify this query to answer:

Find sailors who are older than 18 or have a rating under

9, and are called ‘Joe’.

Database Management Systems 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 14

Find sailors rated > 7 who have reserved

boat #103

** We have used as a shorthand
**

for

** Note the use of to find a tuple in Reserves that
**

`joins with’ the Sailors tuple under consideration.

**Database Management Systems 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 15
**

Find sailors rated > 7 who’ve reserved a

red boat

** Observe how the parentheses control the scope of
**

each quantifier’s binding.

This may look cumbersome, but with a good user

interface, it is very intuitive. (QBE later)

**Database Management Systems 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 16
**

Find sailors who’ve reserved all boats

** Find all sailors I such that for each 3-tuple
**

either it is not a tuple in Boats or there is a tuple in

Reserves showing that sailor I has reserved it.

**Database Management Systems 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 17
**

Find sailors who’ve reserved all

boats (again!)

** Simpler notation, same query. (Much clearer!)
**

To find sailors who’ve reserved all red boats:

.....

**Database Management Systems 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 18
**

Unsafe Queries, Expressive Power

It is possible to write syntactically correct calculus

queries that have an infinite number of answers!

Such queries are called unsafe.

e.g.,

** It is known that every query that can be expressed
**

in relational algebra can be expressed as a safe

query in DRC / TRC; the converse is also true.

Relational Completeness: Query language (e.g.,

SQL) can express every query that is expressible

in relational algebra/calculus.

Database Management Systems 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 19

QBE

** Query-by-Example (QBE) is another language
**

for querying (and, like SQL, for creating and

modifying) relational data.

It is different from SQL, and from most other

database query languages, in having a

graphical user interface that allows users to

write queries by creating example tables on

the screen.

**Database Management Systems 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 20
**

QBE

QBE, like SQL, was developed at IBM and QBE is

an IBM trademark, but a number of other

companies sell QBE-like interfaces, including

Paradox.

Some systems, such as Microsoft Access, offer

partial support for form-based queries and reflect

the influence of QBE.

Often a QBE-like interface is offered in addition

to SQL, with QBE serving as a more intuitive

user-interface for simpler queries and the full

power of SQL available for more complex

queries.

Database Management Systems 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 21

QBE

The following examples are based on IBM’s

Query Management Facility (QMF) and the

QBE version that it supports (Version 2,

Release 4).

A tabular interface can provide the expressive

power of relational calculus (and more) in a

user-friendly form.

The reader should concentrate on the

connection between QBE and domain

relational calculus (DRC).

Database Management Systems 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 22

QBE

Find sailors who have reserved a boat for

8/24/96 and who are older than 25:

**Database Management Systems 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 23
**

QBE

find the colors of Interlake boats reserved by

sailors who have reserved a boat for 8/24/96

and who are older than 25:

**Database Management Systems 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 24
**

Summary

** Relational calculus is non-operational, and
**

users define queries in terms of what they

want, not in terms of how to compute it.

(Declarativeness.)

Algebra and safe calculus have same

expressive power, leading to the notion of

relational completeness.

Database Management Systems 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 25

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