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Database Management System (CS403)
Lecture No. 10
Reading Material
"Database Systems Principles, Design and Implementation"
Page: 155 ­ 160
written by Catherine Ricardo, Maxwell Macmillan.
Page: 103 ­ 111
Overview of Lecture
o Cardinality Types
o Roles in ER Data Model
o Expression of Relationship in ER Data Model
o Dependency
o Existence Dependency
o Referential Dependency
o Enhancements in the ER-Data Model
o Subtype and Supertype entities
Recalling from the previous lecture we can say that that cardinality is just an expression
which tells us about the number of instances of one entity which can be present in the
second relation. Maximum cardinality tells us that how many instance of an entity can be
placed in the second relation at most. Now we move onto discuss that what the minimum
cardinality is.
Minimum Cardinality:
As the name suggests that the minimum cardinality is the inverse of the maximum
cardinality so we can say that the minimum cardinality show us that how many instance
of one entity can be placed in another relation at least. In simple words it can be said that
the minimum cardinality tells that whether the link between two relations is optional or
compulsory. It is very important to determine the minimum cardinality when designing a
database because it defines the way a database system will be implemented.
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One to Many (optional)
Many to One (Mandatory)
Many to Many (optional)
Many to One (optional)
Fig 1: Different Cardinalities
In the figure-1 we have one to many cardinality between the entities. Maximum
cardinalities are shown with the modifier that appears on the link and is adjacent to the
entity rectangle. The other modifier which is next to the maximum cardinality modifier
tells the minimum cardinality. The minimum cardinality modifier lies at more distance
from the entity as compared to the maximum cardinality modifier.
Determination of the cardinalities is done by interviewing the users of the system and by
the analysis of the organization.
The cardinality shown in First Part of the Figure-1 is shown using a relationship between
a student and book; this can be a library scenario where students are borrowing books
adjacent to the student entity
from the library. We can see in the diagram the shape
it shows that the minimum cardinality for the student relationship is zero and maximum
cardinality is one. Where as on the other side of the diagram the shape
adjacent to
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the book entity show that at most there can be many instances of the book associated with
a single instance of student entity, and that there can be at-least no instance associated
with the student entity. In general library scenario we can say that one student can borrow
at least no and at most many books. Hence the minimum and maximum cardinality is
In the second part of the Figure-1 we see a relationship between the Employee and
project entities, the relationship describes one to many association between the project
and the employees, It shows that there can be one project having a number of employees,
but for the existence of one employee at one project is necessary. So the minimum and
maximum cardinality on the project side of the relationship is one, and employees
associated with each project can be many at most and none at-least.
Third part of the Figure-1 shows the association between the student and the course
entities. Here we can see that the relationship between the student and the course is zero
at least and many at most on both the sides of the relationship. The minimum cardinality
with zero minimum is also called the optional cardinality. It also shows that one student
can have registered more that one subjects and one subject can also be taken by many
students. Also it is not necessary for a student to get registered one subject.
In the fourth part of the Figure-1 we can see the one to many cardinality between the
student and hobby entities the cardinality descriptors show that a student may have no or
at most one hobby, but it is worthwhile to notice that the cardinality of the hobby with the
student in many but optional, now we can say that one hobby can be associated to nay
student but there is a chance that no hobby is associated to one student at a certain time.
Other Notations:
The notation mentioned above is known as crow's foot notation for the expression of ER-
Diagrams, there can be other notation as well which can be used for creating ER-
Diagrams; one of these notations is shown in the Figure-2. We can see that the one to
many cardinality shown in the first part of the diagram is expresses with single and
double arrows. The Single arrow in this case shows the one and double arrow show the
many cardinality.
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Fig. 2: Arrow-head notation
So the First part of the figure-2 show One to many cardinality, second part of the Figure
shows many to one and the third part of the cardinality shows many to many cardinality
between the entities involved.
Fig. 3: Alphabetical notation
The above Figure shows another notation for creating ER-Diagrams which show that to
show the one cardinality we have used 1 and for many cardinality M or N is used.
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Fig. 4: Dot-based notation
Notations shown in the Figure-4 above as also used for creating ER-Diagrams where 1 is
used for showing the single cardinality and the black filled Dot is used for showing many
Roles in Relationships
The way an entity is involved in a relationship is called the role of the entity in the
relationship. These details provide more semantics of the database. The role is generally
clear from the relationship, but in some cases it is necessary to mention the role explicitly.
Two situations to mention the role explicitly
Recursive Relationship:
This is the situation when any attribute of one entity is associated with another attribute
of the same entity. Such a link initiates from one entity and terminates on the same entity.
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Fig-5: Roles in a unary relationship
Figure-5 above shows the recursive relationship which tells that in the faculty of a certain
institute we can have one faculty member from among the same faculty as the head of the
faculty. Now the role mentioned on the relationship tell that many Faculty instance are
headed by one of the entity instance from the same faculty relation.
Multiple Relationships:
This is the second situation which needs the role to be mentioned on the relationship link
when there is more than one relationship.
Fig. 6: Multiple relationships
As an example we can have a relationship of Faculty members and students as one
faculty member may teach a number of students and at the same time one student may
have been taught by a number of faculty members. This is one side of the picture. Now
on the other side we can say that a faculty member may be supervising a number of
students for their final projects. It shows two types of associations between the faculty
and the students. So in this type of situation it is necessary to mention the role of the
entities involved in the relationship.
Database Management System (CS403)
Dependency is a type of constraint, for example once we define the cardinality or
relationship among two entities it also is a constraint or check that tells that cardinality
should be followed while populating data in relations. Similarly the dependency is a
constraint. There are a number of dependency types which are expressed below:
The Existence dependency:
This is the type of dependency which exists when one entity instance needs instance of
another entity for its existence. As we have seen earlier in case of employee of and
organization and the projects associated with the employees there we see that employees
are dependent on projects, it means that if no project is assigned to an employee it can not
exist. In other words we can say that at a certain time an employee must be working on at
least one project.
Identifier Dependency:
It means that the dependent entity incase of existence dependency does not have its own
identifier and any external identifier is used to pick data for that entity. And to define a
key in this entity the key of the parent entity is to be used in the key for this entity may be
used as composite keys.
Referential Dependency:
This is the situation when the dependent entity has it own key for unique identification
but the key used to show the reference with the parent entity is shown with the help of an
attribute of the parent entity. Means to show the link of the parent entity with this entity
there will be an attribute and a record in this entity will not exist without having a record
in the parent entity. Despite of having its own identifier attribute.
This type of identifier or attribute in the weak entity is known as foreign key.
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In the Figure-7 above the relation shown is expression the existence dependency where it
is necessary for a book instance to exist if there exist the copies of the book with the same
Enhancements in E-R Data Model:
The topics that we have discussed so for constitute the basics of ER-Model. The model is
further extended and strengthened with addition of some new concepts and modeling
constructs, which are discussed below
Super-type and Subtypes
These are also relationships existing between entities, also referred to as generalized and
specialized respectively let us examine the figure below to grasp the idea of super-type
and subtype.
General Entity Types
Specialized Entity Types
Fig-8 (Super-types and Subtypes)
In the Figure:8 show above there are different levels of existence of entities, at the top
level we have general entity type, which are described as having a number of Subtype
entities, these sub entities are in-turn acting as supertypes entities for a number of other
entities. As we see in case of person supertype we can have further classify the person
entity as Student (STD) and Teacher of Faculty member (FAC). Subtype entities are
expressed with a link to the supertypes having an arc on the link--the arms of which
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point to the supertype entity. As we move downward the distributed entities are known as
specialized entities.
In the next Lecture the process of Generalization and Specialization will be discussed in
In this lecture we have discussed an important topic of cardinalities and their
representation in the E-R data model. For a correct design the correct identification of
cardinalities is important.
Table of Contents:
  1. Introduction to Databases and Traditional File Processing Systems
  2. Advantages, Cost, Importance, Levels, Users of Database Systems
  3. Database Architecture: Level, Schema, Model, Conceptual or Logical View:
  4. Internal or Physical View of Schema, Data Independence, Funct ions of DBMS
  5. Database Development Process, Tools, Data Flow Diagrams, Types of DFD
  6. Data Flow Diagram, Data Dictionary, Database Design, Data Model
  7. Entity-Relationship Data Model, Classification of entity types, Attributes
  8. Attributes, The Keys
  9. Relationships:Types of Relationships in databases
  10. Dependencies, Enhancements in E-R Data Model. Super-type and Subtypes
  11. Inheritance Is, Super types and Subtypes, Constraints, Completeness Constraint, Disjointness Constraint, Subtype Discriminator
  12. Steps in the Study of system
  13. Conceptual, Logical Database Design, Relationships and Cardinalities in between Entities
  14. Relational Data Model, Mathematical Relations, Database Relations
  15. Database and Math Relations, Degree of a Relation
  16. Mapping Relationships, Binary, Unary Relationship, Data Manipulation Languages, Relational Algebra
  17. The Project Operator
  18. Types of Joins: Theta Join, Equi–Join, Natural Join, Outer Join, Semi Join
  19. Functional Dependency, Inference Rules, Normal Forms
  20. Second, Third Normal Form, Boyce - Codd Normal Form, Higher Normal Forms
  21. Normalization Summary, Example, Physical Database Design
  23. Physical Record and De-normalization, Partitioning
  24. Vertical Partitioning, Replication, MS SQL Server
  25. Rules of SQL Format, Data Types in SQL Server
  26. Categories of SQL Commands,
  27. Alter Table Statement
  28. Select Statement, Attribute Allias
  29. Data Manipulation Language
  30. ORDER BY Clause, Functions in SQL, GROUP BY Clause, HAVING Clause, Cartesian Product
  31. Inner Join, Outer Join, Semi Join, Self Join, Subquery,
  32. Application Programs, User Interface, Forms, Tips for User Friendly Interface
  33. Designing Input Form, Arranging Form, Adding Command Buttons
  34. Data Storage Concepts, Physical Storage Media, Memory Hierarchy
  35. File Organizations: Hashing Algorithm, Collision Handling
  36. Hashing, Hash Functions, Hashed Access Characteristics, Mapping functions, Open addressing
  37. Index Classification
  38. Ordered, Dense, Sparse, Multi-Level Indices, Clustered, Non-clustered Indexes
  39. Views, Data Independence, Security, Vertical and Horizontal Subset of a Table
  40. Materialized View, Simple Views, Complex View, Dynamic Views
  41. Updating Multiple Tables, Transaction Management
  42. Transactions and Schedules, Concurrent Execution, Serializability, Lock-Based Concurrency Control, Deadlocks
  43. Incremental Log with Deferred, Immediate Updates, Concurrency Control
  44. Serial Execution, Serializability, Locking, Inconsistent Analysis
  45. Locking Idea, DeadLock Handling, Deadlock Resolution, Timestamping rules