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Additional resources for [Article] A Bayesian analysis of multivariate doubly-interval-censored dental data

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However, the presence of duplicates in an instance can be used to show that some column combination is not a candidate key. Identifying a candidate key requires that we know the ‘real world’ meaning of the column(s) involved so that we can decide whether duplicates are possible. Only by using this semantic information can we be certain that a column combination is a candidate key. 1, we may think that a suitable candidate key for the Staff table would be name, the employee’s name. However, although there is only a single value of Tom Daniels in this table just now, a new member of staff with the same name could join the company, which would therefore prevent the choice of name as a candidate key.

Referential integrity If a foreign key exists in a table, either the foreign key value must match a candidate key value of some record in its home table or the foreign key value must be wholly null. 1, branchNo in the Staff table is a foreign key targeting the branchNo column in the home (parent) table, Branch. It should not be possible to create a staff record with branch number B300, for example, unless there is already a record for branch number B300 in the Branch table. However, we should be able to create a new staff record with a null in the branchNo column to allow for the situation where a new member of staff has joined the company but has not yet been assigned to a particular branch.

It’s also possible for users to specify additional constraints that the data must satisfy. For example, if StayHome has a rule that a member can only rent a maximum of 10 videos at any one time, then the user must be able to specify this rule and expect the DBMS to enforce it. In this case, it should not be possible for a member to rent a video if the number of videos the member currently has rented is 10. Unfortunately, the level of support for business rules varies from system to system. We’ll discuss the implementation of business rules in Chapters 12 and 18.

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