You are on page 1of 86

Schema Refinement and

Normal Forms
Chapter 19

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 1
The Evils of Redundancy
 Redundancy is at the root of several problems
associated with relational schemas:
 redundant storage, insert/delete/update anomalies
 Integrity constraints, in particular functional
dependencies, can be used to identify schemas with
such problems and to suggest refinements.
 Main refinement technique: decomposition (replacing
ABCD with, say, AB and BCD, or ACD and ABD).
 Decomposition should be used judiciously:
 Is there reason to decompose a relation?
 What problems (if any) does the decomposition cause?
Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 2
Functional Dependencies (FDs)

 A functional dependency X→Y holds over relation R
if, for every allowable instance r of R:
 t1 r, t2 r, (t1) = (t2) implies (t1) = (t2)
 i.e., given two tuples in r, if the X values agree, then the Y
values must also agree. (X and Y are sets of attributes.)
 An FD is a statement about all allowable relations.
 Must be identified based on semantics of application.
 Given some allowable instance r1 of R, we can check if it
violates some FD f, but we cannot tell if f holds over R!
 K is a candidate key for R means that K→R
 However, K→R does not require K to be minimal!
Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 3
Example: Constraints on Entity Set

 Consider relation obtained from Hourly_Emps:
 Hourly_Emps (ssn, name, lot, rating, hrly_wages, hrs_worked)
 Notation: We will denote this relation schema by
listing the attributes: SNLRWH
 This is really the set of attributes {S,N,L,R,W,H}.
 Sometimes, we will refer to all attributes of a relation by
using the relation name. (e.g., Hourly_Emps for SNLRWH)
 Some FDs on Hourly_Emps:
 ssn is the key: S→SNLRWH

 rating determines hrly_wages: R→W
Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 4
Wages
Example (Contd.)
 Problems due to R→W : Hourly_Emps2
 Update anomaly: Can
we change W in just
the 1st tuple of SNLRWH?
 Insertion anomaly: What if
we want to insert an
employee and don’t know
the hourly wage for his
rating?
 Deletion anomaly: If we
delete all employees with
rating 5, we lose the
information about the
wage for rating 5!
Will 2 smaller tables be better?
Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 5
Reasoning About FDs
 Given some FDs, we can usually infer additional FDs:
 ssn→did, did→lot implies ssn→lot
 An FD f is implied by a set of FDs F if f holds
whenever all FDs in F hold.
 = closure of F is the set of all FDs that are implied by F.
 Armstrong’s Axioms (X, Y, Z are sets of attributes):
 Reflexivity: If X⊆Y, then Y→X
 Augmentation: If X→Y, then XZ→YZ for any Z
 Transitivity: If X→Y and Y→Z, then X→Z
 These are sound and complete inference rules for FDs!
Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 6
Reasoning About FDs (Contd.)
 Couple of additional rules (that follow from AA):
 Union: If X→Y and X→Z, then X→YZ
 Decomposition: If X→YZ, then X→Y and X→Z
 Example: Contracts(cid,sid,jid,did,pid,qty,value), and:
 C is the key: C→CSJDPQV
 Project purchases each part using single contract: JP→C
 Dept purchases at most one part from a supplier: SD→P
 JP→C, C→CSJDPQV imply JP→CSJDPQV
 SD→P implies SDJ→JP
 SDJ→JP, JP→CSJDPQV imply SDJ→CSJDPQV
Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 7
Reasoning About FDs (Contd.)
 Computing the closure of a set of FDs can be
expensive. (Size of closure is exponential in # attrs!)
 Typically, we just want to check if a given FD X→Y is
in the closure of a set of FDs F. An efficient check:
 Compute attribute closure of X (denoted ) wrt F:
• Set of all attributes A such that X→A is in
• There is a linear time algorithm to compute this.
 Check if Y is in
 Does F = {A→B, B→C, C D→E } imply A→E?
 i.e, is A→E in the closure ? Equivalently, is E in ?
Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 8
Normalization

“There are two rules in life:
Rule #1: Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Rule #2: Everything is small stuff.”
(Finn Taylor)

Life is as complicated as we make it—normalization
can be simplified.☻

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 9
Normal Forms
 Returning to the issue of schema refinement, the first
question to ask is whether any refinement is needed!
 If a relation is in a certain normal form (BCNF, 3NF
etc.), it is known that certain kinds of problems are
avoided/minimized. This can be used to help us
decide whether decomposing the relation will help.
 Role of FDs in detecting redundancy:
 Consider a relation R with 3 attributes, ABC.
• No FDs hold: There is no redundancy here.
• Given A→B: Several tuples could have the same A
value, and if so, they’ll all have the same B value!
Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 10
Normalization

 What is normalization?
 In general, normalization removes
duplication and minimizes redundant chunks
of data.
 The result is better organization and more
effective use of physical space, among other
factors.
 Normalization is not always the best solution!

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 11
1NF: First Normal Form

 Eliminate repeating fields. Furthermore, all
fields must contain a single value.
 Define primary keys. All records must be
identified uniquely with a primary key. A
primary key is unique and thus no duplicate
values are allowed.
 All fields other than the primary key must
depend on the primary key, either directly or
indirectly.
Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 12
1NF: First Normal Form
Table in 0th
Normal Form!

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 13
1NF: First Normal Form

Table in 0th
Normal Form!

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 14
1NF: First Normal Form

 apply 1NF: remove
repeating fields by
creating a new table
where the original
and new table are
linked in a one-to-
many relationship.

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 15
1NF: First Normal Form

 apply 1NF: assign
primary keys

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 16
2NF: Second Normal Form

 The table must be in 1NF.
 All non-key values must be fully functionally
dependent on the primary key. In other words,
non-key fields not completely and individually
dependent on the primary key are not allowed.
 Partial dependencies must be removed. A
partial dependency is a special type of
functional dependency that exists when a field
is fully dependent on a part of a composite
primary key.
Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 17
2NF: Second Normal Form

 Full functional dependence
 given: X→Y
 Y depends on X and X alone
 therefore
 in: XZ→Y
 Y is not in full functional dependence
 Y is partially dependent on the composite
key XZ

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 18
2NF: Second Normal Form

 Partial Dependency

Case 1: Attribute A
Key Attributes X
A not in Key

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 19
Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 20
Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 21
Table in 1NF!

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 22
2NF: Second Normal Form

 2NF performs a seemingly similar function to
that of 1NF, but creates a table where
repeating values rather than repeating fields
are removed to a new table.
 Typically, 2NF creates one-to-many
relationships between static and dynamic,
removing static data from transactional tables
into new tables.

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 23
 separate static
data from
dynamic data
 is this in 2NF
already?

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 24
 connect the
tables with the
proper
relationship
(one-to-one or
one-to-many)
 is this in 2NF
already?

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 25
 all tables must
have a primary
key (1NF
requirement!)
 is this in 2NF
already?

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 26
Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 27
Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 28
Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 29
2NF: Second Normal Form

 Is this in 2NF??

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 30
2NF: Second Normal Form

 Is this in 2NF??


Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 31
3NF: Third Normal Form

 The table must be in 2NF.
 Eliminate transitive dependencies.
 A transitive dependency is where a field is
indirectly determined by the primary key
because that field is functionally dependent
on a second field, where that second field is
dependent on the primary key.
 In basic terms, every field in a table that is
not a key field must be directly dependent
on the primary key.
Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 32
3NF: Third Normal Form

 Transitive Dependency

Case 1:
Key Attributes X Attribute A
A not in Key

Case 2: Attributes X
Key Attribute A
A is in Key

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 33
many-to-many relationships!
how to search for single task
assigned to a single employee?
Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 34
3NF Transformation!
decomposition of entities
involved in a many-to-
many relationship

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 35
3NF Transformation!
amalgamating duplication
into a new table

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 36
3NF Transformation!
transitive dependency
removed

a transitive dependency
exists because it is
assumed that:
1. each employee is
assigned to a CAUTION: too many
particular department tables will result to slower
2. each department within queries having to join too
a company is exclusively many tables
based in one specific city

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 37
3NF Transformation!
remove calculated fields

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 38
Third Normal Form (3NF)
 Reln R with FDs F is in 3NF if, for all X→A in
 A∈X (called a trivial FD), or
 X contains a key for R, or
 A is part of some key for R.
 Minimality of a key is crucial in third condition above!
 If R is in 3NF, some redundancy is possible. It is a
compromise, used when BCNF not achievable.
 Lossless-join, dependency-preserving decomposition of R into a
collection of 3NF relations always possible.

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 39
3NF: Third Normal Form

 Is this in 2NF??

?

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 40
3NF: Third Normal Form

 Is this in 2NF??


all the nonkey attributes (B and C) are fully dependent on the
primary key (A)

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 41
3NF: Third Normal Form

 Is this in 3NF??

?

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 42
3NF: Third Normal Form

 Is this in 3NF??


C, which is a nonkey attribute, is also functionally dependent on
B, which is also a nonkey attribute. Therefore, the relation R is
not in 3NF.

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 43
3NF: Third Normal Form
 Is this in 3NF??


Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 44
BCNF: Boyce-Codd Normal Form

 The table must be in 3NF.
 A table can have only one candidate key.
 A candidate key has potential for being a
table’s primary key.
 A table is not allowed more than one
primary key because referential integrity
requires it as such.

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 45
BCNF: Boyce-Codd Normal Form

 BCNF is an odd one because it is a little like a
special case of 3NF.
 BCNF requires that every determinant in a
table is a candidate key.
 If there is only one candidate key, 3NF and
BCNF are the same.
 Essentially, BCNF prohibits a table from having
two possible primary keys.

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 46
BCNF
Transformation!

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 47
Boyce-Codd Normal Form (BCNF)

 Reln R with FDs F is in BCNF if, for all X→A in
 A∈X (called a trivial FD), or
 X contains a key for R.
 In other words, R is in BCNF if the only non-trivial
FDs that hold over R are key constraints.
 No dependency in R that can be predicted using FDs alone.
 If we are shown two tuples that agree upon
the X value, we cannot infer the A value in
one tuple from the A value in the other.
 If example relation is in BCNF, the 2 tuples
must be identical (since X is a key).
Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 48
BCNF: Boyce-Codd Normal Form

 Is this in 2NF??

?

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 49
BCNF: Boyce-Codd Normal Form

 Is this in 2NF??


The R relation is not in 2NF because, like before, C is in a partial
dependence with the primary key.

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 50
BCNF: Boyce-Codd Normal Form
 Is this in 2NF??


?

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 51
BCNF: Boyce-Codd Normal Form
 Is this in 2NF??



We can’t because we lose an FD, namely D → C. Therefore, we
need to find another decomposition.

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 52
BCNF: Boyce-Codd Normal Form
 Is this in 2NF??


?

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 53
BCNF: Boyce-Codd Normal Form
 Is this in 2NF??



With this decomposition, no FDs are lost. And the resulting
relations are in 2NF.

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 54
BCNF: Boyce-Codd Normal Form
 Is this in 3NF??


?

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 55
BCNF: Boyce-Codd Normal Form
 Is this in 3NF??



The resulting relations are not only in 2NF, but they are also in
3NF.

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 56
BCNF: Boyce-Codd Normal Form
 Is this in BCNF??

?

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 57
BCNF: Boyce-Codd Normal Form
 Is this in BCNF??


B and D are determinants and are not candidate keys. Therefore,
the relation R2 is not in BCNF, while the relation R1 is.

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 58
BCNF: Boyce-Codd Normal Form
 Is this in BCNF??

✕ ✔
Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 59
BCNF: Boyce-Codd Normal Form
 Normalized Form!


Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 60
Recap!

 1st Normal Form (1NF)—Eliminate repeating groups
such that all records in all tables can be identified
uniquely by a primary key in each table.
 2nd Normal Form (2NF)—All non-key values must be
fully functionally dependent on the primary key. No
partial dependencies are allowed.
 3rd Normal Form (3NF)—Eliminate transitive
dependencies.
 Boyce-Codd Normal Form (BCNF)—Every
determinant in a table is a candidate key.
Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 61
Decomposition of a Relation Scheme
 Suppose that relation R contains attributes A1 ... An.
A decomposition of R consists of replacing R by two or
more relations such that:
 Each new relation scheme contains a subset of the attributes
of R (and no attributes that do not appear in R), and
 Every attribute of R appears as an attribute of one of the
new relations.
 Intuitively, decomposing R means we will store
instances of the relation schemes produced by the
decomposition, instead of instances of R.
 E.g., Can decompose SNLRWH into SNLRH and RW.
Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 62
Example Decomposition

 Decompositions should be used only when needed.
 SNLRWH has FDs S→SNLRWH and R→W
 Second FD causes violation of 3NF; W values repeatedly
associated with R values.
 Easiest way to fix this is to create a relation RW to store
these associations, and to remove W from the main schema:
• i.e., we decompose SNLRWH into SNLRH and RW

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 63
Problems with Decompositions

 There are three potential problems to consider:
 Some queries become more expensive.
• e.g., How much did sailor Joe earn? (salary = W*H)
 Given instances of the decomposed relations, we may not
be able to reconstruct the corresponding instance of the
original relation!
• Fortunately, not in the SNLRWH example.
 Checking some dependencies may require joining the
instances of the decomposed relations.
• Fortunately, not in the SNLRWH example.
 Tradeoff: Must consider these issues vs. redundancy.
Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 64
Problems with Decompositions

 Illustration of a Lossy Decomposition

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 65
Lossless Join Decompositions

 Decomposition of R into X and Y is lossless-join w.r.t. a
set of FDs F if, for every instance r that satisfies F:
 (r) (r) = r
 It is always true that r (r) (r)
 In general, the other direction does not hold! If it does, the
decomposition is lossless-join.
 Definition extended to decomposition into 3 or more
relations in a straightforward way.
 It is essential that all decompositions used to deal with
redundancy be lossless! (Avoids Problem (2).)
Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 66
More on Lossless Join

 The decomposition of R into X and Y is
lossless-join wrt F if and only if the closure of
F contains:
 X∩Y → X, or
 X∩Y → Y
 in other words, the attributes common to X and Y
must contain a key for either X or Y
 In particular, the decomposition of R into
R - Y and XY is lossless-join if X → Y holds
over R.
Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 67
Dependency Preserving Decomposition

 Consider CSJDPQV, C is key, JP→C and SD→P.
 BCNF decomposition: CSJDQV and SDP
 Problem: Checking JP→C requires a join!
 This is NOT a dependency-preserving decomposition!!
 Dependency preserving decomposition (Intuitive):
 If R is decomposed into X, Y and Z, and we enforce the FDs
that hold on X, on Y and on Z, then all FDs that were given
to hold on R must also hold. (Avoids Problem (3).)
 A dependency preserving decomposition allows us to
enforce all FDs by examining a single relation instance on
each insertion and update.
Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 68
Dependency Preserving Decomposition

 Projection of set of FDs F: If R is decomposed into X
and Y, and let F be a set of FDs over R. The projection
of F on X (denoted FX ) is the set of FDs in the closure
of F+ (not just F) that involve only attributes of X.
 U→V is in FX iff U, V are in X.

 Decomposition of R into X and Y is dependency
preserving if (FX ∪ FY ) + = F +

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 69
Dependency Preserving Decompositions
(Contd.)
 Important to consider F +, not F, in this definition:
 Consider relation R with attributes ABC
 decomposed into AB and BC
 FDs of R (F) : A→B, B→C, C→A
 A→B is in FAB, B→C is in FBC
 Is this dependency preserving? Is C→A preserved?????

 Dependency preserving does not imply lossless join:
 ABC, A→B, decomposed into AB and BC.
 And vice-versa! (Example?)

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 70
Decomposition into BCNF

 Consider relation R with FDs F. If X→Y violates
BCNF, decompose R into R - Y and XY.
 Repeated application of this idea will give us a collection of
relations that are in BCNF; lossless join decomposition, and
guaranteed to terminate.
 e.g., CSJDPQV, key C, JP→C, SD→P, J→S
 To deal with SD→P, decompose into SDP, CSJDQV.
 To deal with J→S, decompose CSJDQV into JS and CJDQV

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 71
Decomposition into BCNF

Decomposition of CSJDPQV

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 72
Decomposition into BCNF

 The decomposition of CSJDQV into SDP, JS, and
CJDQV is not dependency-preserving. JP→C cannot
be enforced without a join.
 One way to deal with this situation is to add a relation
with attributes CJP. In effect, this solution amounts to
storing some information redundantly in order to
make the dependency enforcement cheaper.
 Problem: Redundancy across relations!!

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 73
Decomposition into BCNF

 Suppose that we choose to decompose CSJDPQV
into JS and CJDPQV instead (choose J→S first!).
 The only dependencies that hold over CJDPQV are
JP→C and the key dependency C→CJDPQV. Since JP
is a key, CJDPQV is in BCNF.
 Thus, the schemas JS and CJDPQV represent a
lossless-join decomposition of Contracts into BCNF
relations too!
 designer must discriminate among alternatives!

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 74
BCNF and Dependency Preservation

 In general, there may not be a dependency preserving
decomposition into BCNF.
 e.g., CSZ, CS→Z, Z→C
 Can’t decompose while preserving 1st FD; not in BCNF.
 Similarly, decomposition of CSJDQV into SDP, JS and
CJDQV is not dependency preserving (w.r.t. the FDs
JP→C, SD→P and J→S).
 However, it is a lossless join decomposition.

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 75
Decomposition into 3NF

 Clearly, the algorithm for lossless join decomp into
BCNF can be used to obtain a lossless join decomp
into 3NF (can stop earlier).
 Refinement: Instead of the given set of FDs F, use a
minimal cover for F.
 the resulting decomposition will be lossless join and
dependency preserving!

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 76
Minimal Cover for a Set of FDs
 Minimal cover G for a set of FDs F:
 Closure of F = closure of G.
 Right hand side of each FD in G is a single attribute.
 If we modify G by deleting an FD or by deleting attributes
from an FD in G, the closure changes.
 Intuitively, every FD in G is needed, and ``as small as
possible’’ in order to get the same closure as F.
 e.g., A→B, ABCD→E, EF→GH, ACDF→EG has the
following minimal cover:
 A→B, ACD→E, EF→G and EF→H

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 77
Minimal Cover for a Set of FDs
 Given (F):
 A → B, ABCD → E, EF → G, EF → H, ACDF → EG
 rewrite ACDF → EG
 ACDF → E and ACDF → G
 delete ACDF → G bec. it is implied by the ff FDs:
 A → B, ABCD → E, EF → G
 delete ACDF → E, and so on.
 Minimal Cover:
 A → B, ACD → E, EF → G, and EF → H

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 78
Minimal Cover for a Set of FDs
 Algorithm for getting the MC (G):
 Put the FDs in a standard form: Obtain a collection G of
equivalent FDs with a single attribute on the right side
(using the decomposition axioms).
 Minimize the left side of each FD: For each FD in G, check
each attribute in the left side to see if it can be deleted while
preserving equivalence to F+.
 Delete redundant FDs: Check each remaining FD in G to
see if it can be deleted while preserving equivalence to F +.
 Note that we could produce different minimal covers
for a given set of FDs depending on w/c FD was
considered first.
Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 79
Minimal Cover for a Set of FDs

 What is the minimal cover of:
 ABCD → E, E → D, A → B, and AC → D

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 80
Minimal Cover for a Set of FDs

 What is the minimal cover of:
 ABCD → E, E → D, A → B, and AC → D
 FDs are already in standard form.
 Minimize the left side of each FD:
 AC → E, E → D, A → B, and AC → D
 Delete redundant FDs:
 AC → E, E → D implies AC → D
 Minimal Cover:
 AC → E, E → D, and A → B

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 81
Decomposition into 3NF

 Refined algo for a 3NF decomposition which is
lossless join and dependency preserving:
 Consider relation R with FDs G that is a minimal cover. If
X→Y violates 3NF, decompose R into R - Y and XY.
 For each FD X→A in G that is not preserved, create a
relation schema XA and add it to the decomposition of R

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 82
Decomposition into 3NF

 Consider the Contracts relation with attributes
CSJDPQV and FDs JP → C, SD → P, and J → S.
 If we decompose CSJDPQV into SDP and CSJDQV, then
SDP is in BCNF, but CSJDQV is not even in 3NF.
 So we decompose it further into JS and CJDQV.
 The relation schemas SDP, JS, and CJDQV are in 3NF (in
fact, in BCNF), and the decomposition is lossless-join.
However, the dependency JP→ C is not preserved.
 This problem can be addressed by adding a relation schema
CJP to the decomposition.

Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 83
3NF vs BCNF

 It is always possible to decompose a relation into
relations in 3NF and
 The decomposition is lossless
 Dependencies are preserved
 It is always possible to decompose a relation into
relations in BCNF and
 The decomposition is lossless
 It may not be possible to preserve dependencies
 But a schema that is in 3NF but not in BCNF may
contain redundancy
Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 84
Refining an ER Diagram
 1st diagram translated: Before:
Workers(S,N,L,D,C) since
name dname
Departments(D,M,B)
ssn lot did budget
 Lots associated with workers.
 Suppose all workers in a Employees Works_In Departments
dept are assigned the same
lot: D→L
 Redundancy; fixed by: After:
Workers2(S,N,D,C) since
budget

Dept_Lots(D,L) name dname
ssn did lot
 Can fine-tune this:
Workers2(S,N,D,C) Employees Works_In Departments
Departments(D,M,B,L)
Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 85
Summary of Schema Refinement
 If a relation is in BCNF, it is free of redundancies that
can be detected using FDs. Thus, trying to ensure
that all relations are in BCNF is a good heuristic.
 If a relation is not in BCNF, we can try to decompose
it into a collection of BCNF relations.
 Must consider whether all FDs are preserved. If a lossless-
join, dependency preserving decomposition into BCNF is
not possible (or unsuitable, given typical queries), should
consider decomposition into 3NF.
 Decompositions should be carried out and/or re-examined
while keeping performance requirements in mind.
Database Management Systems, 3ed, R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke 86