6.830/6.814: Database Systems
Spring 2021
In this lecture, we will continue our discussion of data models and database system architecture, looking in more detail at the relational model.

Please read the following papers in preparation for lecture:

Although it is not required, you may be curious to look at the original specification of the relational model by Ted Codd (Turing award winner who created the idea of the relational data model.) It's dense and mathy, but jam packed with ideas.:

As you read these papers, think about and be prepared to answer the following questions in Lecture:

  1. What is the notion of data independence? Why is it important?
  2. What are the key ideas behind the relational model? Why are they an improvement over what came before? In what ways is the relational model restrictive?
  3. What are the most important differences between the "hierarchical" model (as exemplified by systems like IMS) and the relational model that Codd proposed?