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Chapter 2. Adjacency List Model > 2.2. The Simple Adjacency List Model Is Not N...

2.2. The Simple Adjacency List Model Is Not Normalized

There is a horrible truth about the simple adjacency list model that nobody noticed. It is not a normalized schema. A boss is not an attribute of an employee any more than a book is an attribute of an author; subordination and authorship are relationships.
The classic normal forms are only part of normalization. The short definition of normalization is that all data redundancy has been removed and it is safe from data anomalies. Tom Johnston coined the phrase “non-normal form redundancies” for this particular kind of thing. I coined the phrase that a normalized database has “one simple fact, in one place, one time” as a mnemonic for three characteristics we want in a data model.

  

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