Database – Relational Database Model

By | February 14, 2016

Relation Data Model

The relational database data model is the primary data model, which is used widely around the world for data storage and processing. This model is simple and it has all the properties and capabilities required to process data with storage efficiency.


Tables − In relational data model, relations are saved in the format of Tables. This format stores the relation among entities. A table has rows and columns, where rows represents records and columns represent the attributes.
Tuple − A single row of a table, which contains a single record for that relation is called a tuple.
Relation instance − A finite set of tuples in the relational database system represents relation instance. Relation instances do not have duplicate tuples.
Relation schema − A relation schema describes the relation name (table name), attributes, and their names.
Relation key − Each row has one or more attributes, known as relation key, which can identify the row in the relation (table) uniquely.

Attribute domain − Every attribute has some pre-defined value scope, known as attribute domain.


       Every relation has some conditions that must hold for it to be a valid relation. These conditions are called Relational Integrity Constraints. There are three main integrity constraints −

  • Key constraints
  • Domain constraints
  • Referential integrity constraints

Key Constraints

There must be at least one minimal subset of attributes in the relation, which can identify a tuple uniquely. This minimal subset of attributes is called key for that relation. If there are more than one such minimal subsets, these are called candidate keys.

  • Key constraints force that − in a relation with a key attribute, no two tuples can have identical values for key attributes.
  • A key attribute can not have NULL values.
  • Key constraints are also referred to as Entity Constraints.

Domain Constraints

Attributes have specific values in a real-world scenario. For example, age can only be a positive integer. The same constraints have been tried to employ on the attributes of a relation. Every attribute is bound to have a specific range of values. For example, age cannot be less than zero and telephone numbers cannot contain a digit outside 0-9.

Referential Integrity Constraints

Referential integrity constraints work on the concept of Foreign Keys. A foreign key is a key attribute of a relation that can be referred in other relation.
Referential integrity constraint states that if a relation refers to a key attribute of a different or same relation, then that key element must exist.

Relational Model

The most popular data model in DBMS is the Relational Model. It is more scientific a model than others. This model is based on first-order predicate logic and defines a table as an n-ary relation.
The main highlights of this model are −

  • Data is stored in tables called relations.
  • Relations can be normalized.
  • In normalized relations, values saved are atomic values.
  • Each row in a relation contains a unique value.
  • Each column in a relation contains values from a same domain.

There are three types of data models-

  • Hierarchical model
  • Network Model
  • Relational Model

Hierarchical model: In this model, each entity has only one parent but can have several children . At the top of hierarchy there is only one entity which is called Root.

Network Model:

In the network model, entities are organised in a graph, in which some entities can be accessed through sveral path.

Relational Model:

In this model, data is organised in two-dimesional tables called relations. The tables or relation are related to each other.

Naming is Two types here, 
Pascal casing – e.g: CustomerAccount (capital letter on every word starting)

Camel casing – e.g: customerAccount (capital letter to the second word)

Database Schema

A database schema is the skeleton structure that represents the logical view of the entire database. It defines how the data is organized and how the relations among them are associated. It formulates all the constraints that are to be applied on the data.
A database schema defines its entities and the relationship among them. It contains a descriptive detail of the database, which can be depicted by means of schema diagrams. It’s the database designers who design the schema to help programmers understand the database and make it useful.

A database schema can be divided broadly into two categories −

  • Physical Database Schema − This schema pertains to the actual storage of data and its form of storage like files, indices, etc. It defines how the data will be stored in a secondary storage.
  • Logical Database Schema − This schema defines all the logical constraints that need to be applied on the data stored. It defines tables, views, and integrity constraints.

Database Instance

It is important that we distinguish these two terms individually. Database schema is the skeleton of database. It is designed when the database doesn’t exist at all. Once the database is operational, it is very difficult to make any changes to it. A database schema does not contain any data or information.
A database instance is a state of operational database with data at any given time. It contains a snapshot of the database. Database instances tend to change with time. A DBMS ensures that its every instance (state) is in a valid state, by diligently following all the validations, constraints, and conditions that the database designers have imposed.

Relational Algebra Operations in SQL with Examples

Relational Algebra:

A query language is a language in which user requests information from the database. it can be categorized as either procedural or nonprocedural. In a procedural language the user instructs the system to do a sequence of operations on database to compute the desired result. In nonprocedural language the user describes the desired information without giving a specific procedure for obtaining that information.
The relational algebra is a procedural query language. It consists of a set of operations that take one or two relations as input and produces a new relation as output.

Fundamental Operations:


Select and project operations are unary operation as they operate on a single relation.Union, set difference, Cartesian product and rename operations are binary operations as they operate on pairs of relations.
Other Operations


The select operation: –

To identify a set of tuples which is a part of a relation and to extract only these tuples out. The select operation selects tuples that satisfy a given predicate or condition.

  • It is a unary operation defined on a single relation.
  • It is denoted as σ.

Consider the following table “Book” :-

| Acc-no | Yr-pub | title            |
| 734216 | 1982   | Algorithm design |
| 237235 | 1995   | Database systems |
| 631523 | 1992   | Compiler design  |
| 543211 | 1991   | Programming      |
| 376112 | 1992   | Machine design   |

Example1:- Select from the relation “Book” all the books whose year of publication is 1992.
Code:σ Yr-pub=1992(Book)

Example2:- Select from the relation “Book” all the books whose Acc-no is greater than equal to 56782.
σ Acc-no>=56782(Book)

The project operation: –

Returns its argument relation with certain attributes left out.
  • It is a unary operation defined on a single relation
  • It is denoted as Π.

Example:- List all the Title and Acc-no of the “Book” relation.
Π Acc-no, Title (Book)

The union operation: –

 Is used when we need some attributes that appear in either or both of the two relations.

  • It is denoted as U.

Example:Borrower (customer-name, loan-number)
Depositor (customer-name, account-number)
Customer (customer-name, street-number, customer-city)

List all the customers who have either an account or a loan or both
Code: Π customer-name (Borrower) U Π customer-name (Depositor)
For a union operation r U s to be valid, two conditions must hold:

  • The relation r and s must be of the same arity, i.e. they must have the same number of attributes.
  • The domains of the ith attribute of r and the ith attribute of s must be the same for all i.

The set difference operation: –

Finds tuples in one relation but not in other.
It is denoted as ‘ – ‘
Example:Find the names of all customers who have an account but not a loan.
Code: Π customer-name (Depositor) – Π customer-name (Borrower)

The Cartesian product operation: – 

Allows combining information from two relations.

  • It is denoted as r X s where r and s are relations.

Consider the following relation or table “r” :-

A     | B     |
|   a    |   1   |
|   b    |   2   |
|   a    |   2   |

Consider another relation or table “s” :-

B     | C     |
|   3    |   1a  |
|   2    |   2b  |

Therefore, rXs gives:-

|  r.A      |r.B      s.B    | s.C      |
|   a       |   1     |    3    |  1a      |
|   a       |   1     |    2    |  2b      |
|   b       |   2     |    3    |  1a      |
|   b       |   2     |    2    |  2b      |
|   a       |   2     |    3    |  1a      |
|   a       |   2     |    2    |  2b      |

If relation r has n1 tuples and relation s has n2 tuples then r X s has n1*n2 tuples.
Borrower (customer-name, loan-number)
Loan (loan-number, branch-name, city, amount)

List the names of all customers who have a loan in “Perryridge” branch
Π customer-name (σ (σ branch-name=”Perryridge” (Borrower X Loan)))

The rename operation: – used to rename.

  • It is denoted as ρ.

Eg : relational algebra expression
ρ x (E): returns the result of expression E under the name x.
ρ x (A1, A2, A3… An) (E): returns the result of expression E under the name x with attributes renamed to A1, A2, A3… An.

The set intersection operation: – finds tuples in both the relations.

  • It is denoted as ∩.

Borrower (customer-name, loan-number)
Depositor (customer-name, account-number)
Customer (customer-name, street-number, customer-city)
List all the customers who have both a loan and an account.
Π customer-name (Borrower) ∩ Π customer-name (Depositor)

The natural join operation: –

It is a binary operation and a combination of certain selections and a Cartesian product into one operation.

  • It is denoted as |X| .
  • It is associative.

It forms a Cartesian product of its two arguments.

Then performs a selection forcing equality on those attributes those appear in both the relations.
And finally removes duplicates attributes.r(R): r is a relation with attributes R.
s(S): s is a relation with attributes S.

If R ∩ S = Ф i.e. they have no attributes in common then r |X| s = r X s

Example:-Table “r”:-

| A      | B      | C     |
| a      |  b     | c     |
| d      |  e     | f     |
| g      |  h     | i     |
Table “s” :-
B     | D     |
|   b    |   g   |
|   p    |   r   |
|   e    |   t   |

Therefore, r |X| s :-

| A         |  B      |    C    |       |
|   a       |   b     |    c    |  g       |
|   d       |   e     |    f    |  t       |

if r (A, B, C), s (B, D) then
Code: r|X|s = Π r.A, r.B, r.C, s.D (σ r.B = s.B (r X s))

The division / quotient operation: –

  • It is denoted as ÷.

Letr(R) and s(S) be relations
r ÷ s: – the result consists of the restrictions of tuples in r to the attribute names unique to R, i.e. in the Header of r but not in the Header of s, for which it holds that all their combinations with tuples in s are present in r.
Relation or table “r”:-

A     | B     |
|   a    |   1   |
|   b    |   2   |
|   a    |   2   |
|   p    |   3   |
|   p    |   4   |
Relation or table “s”:-
|  B   |
|  2   |
|  3   |

Therefore, r ÷ s

|  A   |
|  b   |
|  a   |
|  p   |

Extended Relational Algebra Operations

GENERALIZED PROJECTION: – It extends the projection operation by allowing arithmetic functions to be used in projection list.
Π F1,F2 … Fn (E)
Where E: relational algebra expression
Fi: arithmetic expression
Table “Credit-info” :-

| Customer-name        | Limit     | Credit_Balance  |
| abc                  | 2000      | 500             |
| xyz                  | 500       | 250             |
| pqr                  | 700       | 100             |
| mno                  | 1500      | 1000            |

Find how much money a person can spend.
Code: Π Customer-name,(Limit-Credit_balance)(Credit-info)


20 Cool funny Websites Kills Your Boredom

18 Cool and Interesting Websites– Internet

The Art of Writing a Perfect Resume – Allinfi

Aggregate Function:-

It takes a collection of values and returns a single value as a result.
Table “Record” :-

| Student              | Marks     | Address         |
| abc                  | 20        | Garia           |
| xyz                  | 50        | Behala          |
| pqr                  | 70        | Hindmotor       |
| mno                  | 15        | Garia           |

So the Aggregate Functions are:-

G sum (Marks) (Record) = returns sum total of the Marks attribute of Record.G average (Marks) (Record) = returns average of the Marks attribute of Record.

G min (Marks) (Record) = returns the minimum of the Marks attribute of Record.

G max (Marks) (Record) = returns the maximum of the Marks attribute of Record.

G count distinct (Address) (Record) = returns the number of distinct values of Address attribute of Record.

Let’s assume that we have a table named Account with three columns, namely Account_Number, Branch_Name and Balance.

We wish to find the maximum balance of each branch.
Code: Branch_Name G Max(Balance)(Account).

To find the highest balance of all accounts regardless of branch
Code:G Max(Balance)(Account).

Limitations Of Relational Algebra

Although relational algebra seems powerful enough for most practical purposes, there are some simple and natural operators on relations which cannot be expressed by relational algebra. The transitive closure of a binary relation is one of them.
Relational Algebra Implemented In SQL SQL (Structured query Language) is the most popular computer language used to create, modify, retrieve data from relational database management system.The basic structure of an SQL expression consists of three clauses:
SELECT: – This clause corresponds to the projection operation of the relational algebra. It is used to list the attributes of the result of a query.
FROM: -It corresponds to the Cartesian product operation of the relational algebra. It lists the relations scanned in the evaluation of an expression.
WHERE: – This clause corresponds to selection predicate of relational algebra. It consists of a predicate involving attributes of the relations that appear in the FROM clause.
SQL QUERY FORM:Select A1, A2….An
From r1, r2…rm
Where P
Ai : attribute
Ri : relation
P : predicate
SELECT clause– specifies the table columns retrieved.
FROM clause– specifies the tables to be accessed.
WHERE clause– which rows in the FROM tables to use.
Example:Table “emp”

| Emp-name             | E-salary  | Emp-Address     |
| abc                  | 2000      | Garia           |
| xyz                  | 5000      | Behala          |
| pqr                  | 7000      | Hindmotor       |
| mno                  | 1500      | Garia           |

List the names of all employees.
Code: Select Emp-name from Emp

List all the rows of the table.
Code:Select * from Emp

List all the employees who receive salary greater than 5000.
Code: Select Emp-name from Emp where Emp-salary>5000

List all the employees who live in Garia.
Select Emp-name from Emp where E-address=’Garia’

List all the employees in increasing order of salary.
Code:Select Emp-name from Emp Order by Emp-salary

Joining Tables

The FROM clause allows more than 1 table in its list. The rows from one table must be correlated with the rows of the others. This correlation is known as joining.
Table “E1” :-

| Emp-name             | Emp-Address     |
| abc                  |Garia            |
| xyz                  | Behala          |
| pqr                  | Hindmotor       |
| mno                  | Garia           |

Table “E2” :-

| Emp-name             | E-salary  |
| abc                  | 2000      |
| xyz                  | 5000      |
| pqr                  | 7000      |
| mno                  | 1500      |

Select e1.Emp-Name,E-salary, Emp-address from E1 e1, E2 e2 where e1.Emp-Name=e2.Emp-Name


| Emp-name             | E-salary  | Emp-Address     |
| abc                  | 2000      | Garia           |
| xyz                  | 5000      | Behala          |
| pqr                  | 7000      | Hindmotor       |
| mno                  | 1500      | Garia           |

Aggregate Functions

Code: Select MIN (Emp-salary),MAX (Emp-salary) from Emp

Set Operations

UNION, INTERSECT and EXCEPT operations can be done in SQL corresponding to their operations U, ∩ and –in relational algebra only if the domains of the attributes of the relations match and the relations have same arity i.e same number of attributes.

Relational Calculus

In contrast to Relational Algebra, Relational Calculus is a non-procedural query language, that is, it tells what to do but never explains how to do it.
Relational calculus exists in two forms −

Tuple Relational Calculus (TRC)

Filtering variable ranges over tuples

Notation − {T | Condition}
Returns all tuples T that satisfies a condition.
For example −{ | Author(T) AND T.article = ‘database’ }
Output − Returns tuples with ‘name’ from Author who has written article on ‘database’.
TRC can be quantified. We can use Existential (∃) and Universal Quantifiers (∀).
For example −{ R| ∃T ∈ Authors(T.article=’database’ AND}
Output − The above query will yield the same result as the previous one.

Domain Relational Calculus (DRC)

In DRC, the filtering variable uses the domain of attributes instead of entire tuple values (as done in TRC, mentioned above).
{ a1, a2, a3, …, an | P (a1, a2, a3, … ,an)}
Where a1, a2 are attributes and P stands for formulae built by inner attributes.
For example

{< article, page, subject > | ∈ TutorialsPoint ∧ subject = ‘database’}
Output − Yields Article, Page, and Subject from the relation TutorialsPoint, where subject is database.
Just like TRC, DRC can also be written using existential and universal quantifiers. DRC also involves relational operators.
The expression power of Tuple Relation Calculus and Domain Relation Calculus is equivalent to Relational Algebra.
Refrence: Source from Internet

If you like my article, please do leave a comment or like it. 
Thank you..!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *