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Journal of Inforamtion Science and Engineering, Vol.11 No.4, pp.513-540 (December 1995)
Reformulating Semantic Integrity
Constraints Precisely

Heng-Li Yang
Department of Management Information Systems
National Cheng Chi University
Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C.

Semantic integrity constraints (SICs) express part of the meaning of a database. A database schema should contain the structures and SICs. It is important torepresent SICs precisely. A SIC specification should include operational and declarative semantics. A SIC might be applied to a simple data item, an individual record, or a set of records; certain or uncertai; operation-independent or operation-dependent; conditional or unconditional; strong, soft, or self correcting; and static or dynamic. Currently, no suitable language in literature exists to represent the features of SICs precisely. Moreover, it is not easy to represent them precisely. The idea here is to write SICs in a so-called simplified format and then reformulate them. This paper introduces the SIC Representation model and describes the algorithms for reformulating and decomposing a general SIC into sub-SICs, and transforming them from an E-R schema into a relational schema.

Keywords: semantic integrity constraints, constraints representation, constraints reformulation, constraints checking, database design

Received June 24, 1994; revised May 25, 1995.
Communicated by Y.S. Kuo.