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Fundamentals/ICY: Databases 2013/14 WEEK 4: Monday Intro to tables, etc. John Barnden Professor of Artificial Intelligence School of Computer Science University.

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Presentation on theme: "Fundamentals/ICY: Databases 2013/14 WEEK 4: Monday Intro to tables, etc. John Barnden Professor of Artificial Intelligence School of Computer Science University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Fundamentals/ICY: Databases 2013/14 WEEK 4: Monday Intro to tables, etc. John Barnden Professor of Artificial Intelligence School of Computer Science University of Birmingham, UK

2 Reminder of Friday

3 NAMEADDRESSPHONESBIRTHDAY Babloop Porkypasta 107 Worm Drive, Hedgebarton, Birmngham, B15 9ZZ January 1969 Coriolanus Zebedee O’Crackpotham The Wellyboots, Boring-under-Mosswood, Berks, HP11 1XX Johnny Next to the Tesco’s in Upper Street H: W: M: ??? Full Monty chip shop Harborne Oct 05 Hilary R. Clinton (grr!) The Old Black House, Aplanalp St., Las Cruces, NM , USA ex-dir16 Sep? (refused to tell me how old she was)

4 Problems with that Table uAlthough that table illustrates the sort of table used in databases in some sense, it has many tricky features: l Empty entries – what’s the interpretation? l Spelling error (Birmngham) l Names/addresses of different forms (perhaps unavoidably) l Different numbers of alternatives in different cells l Different interpretations of “birthday” field (per year, or when born, or when shop opened) l Vague entries (next to the Tesco’s in Upper St.; Harborne) l Expressed uncertainty (the question marks, alone or attached) l Additional comments (grr!, refused …) l Exceptional entry types (ex-dir, and the contents of the chip-shop row)

5 New

6 Question to You: What other sorts of weird thing could happen in tables??

7 Restrictions on Database Tables: Overall Structure uRegular overall shape: rows all same length, similarly columns. uNo division into different regions (with a certain exception). uNo labels for rows, as opposed to columns. Mostly no significance to the order of rows. uNo additional comments, footnotes, etc.

8 Restrictions on Database Tables: Nature of Entries uAll cells in any one column are given the same intuitive interpretation. uEach cell’s item restricted to a pre-specified, usually fairly simple value range (data type), and all cells in any given column restricted to same data type. uNo exceptional entries … with one exception!: empty entries uOne data item per cell (but it can be a variable-length character string, containing anything). uUncertainty and vagueness markers not supported.

9 Extra, Crucial Restriction (on the main tables) uNo row can be repeated in a table. (I.e., no two rows can contain exactly the same values.) uThis is equivalent to saying: Rows are uniquely determined (picked out) by the values in some set of columns (possibly the whole set, but could be fewer). That is, if you imagine some values for those columns, there is at most one row that has exactly those values in those columns.

10 Table on next slide is closer to what might be in a database

11 LAST N.FIRST NMIADDRESSHome PhMobileB yearB day PorkypastaBabloop107 Worm Drive, Hedgebarton, Birmngham, B15 9ZZ Jan 11 O’CrackpothamCoriolanusZThe Wellyboots, Boring-under- Mosswood, Berks, HP11 1XX DelfinoJohnny-----Next to the Tesco’s in Upper Street ClintonHilaryRThe Old Black House, Aplanalp St., Las Cruces, NM , USA-----Sep 16

12 Coordination between Tables NAMEPHONEEMPLOYERAGE Chopples University of Birmingham 37 Blurp Monmouth School for Girls 21 Rumpel University of Birmingham 88 EMPLOYERADDRESSNUM. EMPLSSECTOR BTBT House, London, … 1,234,5678Private TCOM Monmouth School for Girls Hereford Rd, Monmouth, … 245Private 2E University of Birmingham Edgbaston Park Rd, …. 4023Public HE PHONETYPESTATUS officeOK homeFAULT homeOK mobileUNPAID There should really be a FIRST NAME as well, in practice

13 Remember: “Associative Linking” This is how the tables are linked.

14 But: What are the disadvantages of using character strings like “University of Birmingham” as linking values?

15 The Disadvantages uIn entering values, have to ensure exactly the same string of characters on each occasion l avoid typos on data entry l avoid variants: “The University of Birmingham” uDifficult to guarantee that two different entities won’t have the same name. uInefficiency of comparing such complex values. Reduce such problems by: uUsing artificial linking values that are simpler in form and easier to make distinct …..

16 Table Coordination: Revised NAMEPHONEEMPL. IDAGE Chopples E Blurp E Rumpel E EMPL. IDEMPL. NAMEADDRESSNUM. EMPLSSECTOR E48693BTBT House, London, … 1,234,5678Private TCOM E85704Monmouth School Hereford Rd, Monmouth, … 245Private 2E E22561University of Birmingham Edgbaston Park Rd, …. 3023Public HE PHONETYPESTATUS officeOK homeFAULT homeOK mobileUNPAID

17 Redundancy between Tables NAMEPHONESTATUSEMPLOYERAGE Chopples OK University of Birmingham 37 Blurp FAULT Monmouth School 21 Rumpel UNPAID University of Birmingham 88 PHONETYPESTATUS officeOK homeFAULT homeOK mobileUNPAID What are the advantages and disadvantages of the sharing of the STATUS attribute?

18 Tables and Things u The example tables involve various sorts of thing: l People l People’s names l Addresses l Phone numbers l Phone number types l Dates l Ages l Status indicators l etc.

19 uand also various sorts of connection between things, e.g.: l A person having an address l A person being employed by an organization l An organization having some employees l A person having a birth date l A phone number being of a type l A phone number having a status l etc.

20 ORGANIZATIONS (each with …) PHONE STATIONS (each with number, type & status) a person may be employed by one(?) organization a person may have one(?) phone station PEOPLE (each with name, address, etc.) PHONE EMPLOYER

21 You Judge Only Some Types of Thing to Merit Tables uIn the example above we have decreed that only the following TYPES of thing --- people, employing organizations, and phone stations --- correspond to WHOLE TABLES. l In one table, each row represents a person. l In another table, each row represents an employing organization. l In yet another table, each row represents a phone station. uWe have decreed that the other types of things, such as people’s names, addresses, phone numbers, phone-number types, etc. correspond only to COLUMNS of tables, not whole tables, and each individual thing is just represented as a value in a cell.

22 Meriting Tables, contd. uThe question of what types of thing should correspond to tables depends on the application and your design judgment. uIt all depends on things like: l what range of information is needed about something l how separate the pieces of info about a given thing are l what operations are needed l how often they’re needed. u For example:

23 Typical Approach to Phone Numbers NAMEPHONEEMPLOYERAGE Chopples E Blurp E Rumpel E (There should really be a FIRST NAME as well)

24 But the following is possible … NAMEPHONE IDEMPLOYERAGE ChopplesABC123E BlurpABC137E RumpelDEF678E PHONE IDAREA CODEBODY ABC ABC DEF DEF There should really be a FIRST NAME as well


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