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C. A Relational Approach to Missing Information

Appendix C. A Relational Approach to Missing Information

The book Database Explorations: Essays on The Third Manifesto and Related Matters, by Hugh Darwen and myself (see Appendix G), describes a variety of approaches to the problem of missing information, all of which avoid the use of, or apparent need for, SQL-style nulls. The present appendix is based on a chapter from that book, and it describes one of those approaches in detail. The approach in question is known as the decomposition approach, because it involves decomposing, in a variety of ways, relvars that might appear to require nulls (or something like them) into ones that don’t. In other words, the emphasis is on designing the database in such a way as to avoid a perceived need for nulls. As a consequence, the approach:


  

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