The Set Conceptual Model and the Domain Graph Method of Table Design

Paul C. Gilmore
Publishing date
March 1987
A purely set-based conceptual model SET is described along with a specification/query language DEFINE. SET is intended for modelling all phases of database design and data processing. The model for an enterprise is its set schema, consisting of all the sets that are declared for it. The domain graph method of table design translates the set schema for an enterprise into a table schema in which each table is a defined user view declared as a set in DEFINE. But for one initial step, the method can be fully automated. The method makes no use of normalization. Two kinds of integrity constraints are supported in the SET model. Although these constraints take a simple form in the set schema for an enterprise, they can translate into referential integrity constraints for the table schema of a complexity not previously considered. The simplicity of the constraints supported in the SET model, together with the simplicity of the domain graph table design method, suggests that a conceptual view of an enterprise provided by the SET model is superior to the lower level data presentation view provided by the relational model.