Basic Operators in Relational Algebra

1.3

Basics of Relational model: Relational Model

Relational Algebra is a procedural query language which takes relations as an input and returns relation as an output. There are some basic operators which can be applied on relations to produce required results which we will discuss one by one. We will use STUDENT_SPORTS, EMPLOYEE and STUDENT relations as given in Table 1, Table 2 and Table 3 respectively to understand the various operators.

Table 1 : STUDENT_SPORTS

ROLL_NO SPORTS
1 Badminton
2 Cricket
2 Badminton
4 Badminton

 

Table 2 : EMPLOYEE

EMP_NO NAME ADDRESS PHONE AGE
1 RAM DELHI 9455123451 18
5 NARESH HISAR 9782918192 22
6 SWETA RANCHI 9852617621 21
4 SURESH DELHI 9156768971 18

 

 Table 3 : STUDENT

ROLL_NO NAME ADDRESS PHONE AGE
1 RAM DELHI 9455123451 18
2 RAMESH GURGAON 9652431543 18
3 SUJIT ROHTAK 9156253131 20
4 SURESH DELHI 9156768971 18

Selection operator (σ): Selection operator is used to select tuples from a relation based on some condition. Syntax:

σ (Cond)(Relation Name)

Extract students whose age is greater than 18 from STUDENT relation given in Table 1

σ (AGE>18)(STUDENT)

RESULT:

ROLL_NO NAME ADDRESS PHONE AGE
3 SUJIT ROHTAK 9156253131 20

Projection Operator (∏): Projection operator is used to project particular columns from a relation. Syntax:

(Column 1,Column 2….Column n)(Relation Name)

Extract ROLL_NO and NAME from STUDENT relation given in Table 1

(ROLL_NO,NAME)(STUDENT)

RESULT:

ROLL_NO NAME
1 RAM
2 RAMESH
3 SUJIT
4 SURESH

Note: If resultant relation after projection has duplicate rows, it will be removed. For Example:  ∏(ADDRESS)(STUDENT) will remove one duplicate row with value DELHI and return three rows.

Cross Product(X): Cross product is used to join two relations. For every row of Relation1, each row of Relation2 is concatenated. If Relation1 has m tuples and and Relation2 has n tuples, cross product of Relation1 and Relation2 will have m X n tuples. Syntax:

Relation1 X Relation2

To apply Cross Product on STUDENT relation given in Table 1 and STUDENT_SPORTS relation given in Table 2,

STUDENT X STUDENT_SPORTS

RESULT:

ROLL_NO NAME ADDRESS PHONE AGE ROLL_NO SPORTS
1 RAM DELHI 9455123451 18 1 Badminton
1 RAM DELHI 9455123451 18 2 Cricket
1 RAM DELHI 9455123451 18 2 Badminton
1 RAM DELHI 9455123451 18 4 Badminton
2 RAMESH GURGAON 9652431543 18 1 Badminton
2 RAMESH GURGAON 9652431543 18 2 Cricket
2 RAMESH GURGAON 9652431543 18 2 Badminton
2 RAMESH GURGAON 9652431543 18 4 Badminton
3 SUJIT ROHTAK 9156253131 20 1 Badminton
3 SUJIT ROHTAK 9156253131 20 2 Cricket
3 SUJIT ROHTAK 9156253131 20 2 Badminton
3 SUJIT ROHTAK 9156253131 20 4 Badminton
4 SURESH DELHI 9156768971 18 1 Badminton
4 SURESH DELHI 9156768971 18 2 Cricket
4 SURESH DELHI 9156768971 18 2 Badminton
4 SURESH DELHI 9156768971 18 4 Badminton

Union (U): Union on two relations R1 and R2 can only be computed if R1 and R2 are union compatible (These two relation should have same number of attributes and corresponding attributes in two relations have same domain) . Union operator when applied on two relations R1 and R2 will give a relation with tuples which are either in R1 or in R2. The tuples which are in both R1 and R2 will appear only once in result relation. Syntax:

 Relation1 U Relation2

Find person who are either student or employee, we can use Union operator like:

STUDENT U EMPLOYEE

RESULT:

ROLL_NO NAME ADDRESS PHONE AGE
1 RAM DELHI 9455123451 18
2 RAMESH GURGAON 9652431543 18
3 SUJIT ROHTAK 9156253131 20
4 SURESH DELHI 9156768971 18
5 NARESH HISAR 9782918192 22
6 SWETA RANCHI 9852617621 21

Minus (-): Minus on two relations R1 and R2 can only be computed if R1 and R2 are union compatible. Minus operator when applied on two relations as R1-R2 will give a relation with tuples which are in R1 but not in R2. Syntax:

 Relation1 - Relation2

Find person who are student but not employee, we can use minus operator like:

STUDENT - EMPLOYEE

RESULT:

ROLL_NO NAME ADDRESS PHONE AGE
2 RAMESH GURGAON 9652431543 18
3 SUJIT ROHTAK 9156253131 20

Rename(ρ): Rename operator is used to give another name to a relation. Syntax:

ρ(Relation2, Relation1)

To rename STUDENT relation to STUDENT1, we can use rename operator like:

ρ(STUDENT1, STUDENT)

 If you want to create a relation STUDENT_NAMES with ROLL_NO and NAME from STUDENT, it can be done using rename operator as:

ρ(STUDENT_NAMES, ∏(ROLL_NO, NAME)(STUDENT))

Extended Relational Algebra Operators                                        Overview of Relational Algebra Operators

Previous Year Gate Questions
http://quiz.geeksforgeeks.org/gate-gate-cs-2012-question-50/
http://quiz.geeksforgeeks.org/gate-gate-cs-2012-question-43/

Article contributed by Sonal Tuteja. Please write comments if you find anything incorrect, or you want to share more information about the topic discussed above

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