The Format Model: A Theory of database Organization

Richard Hull, Chee K. Yap

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A mathematical theory for the study of data representation indatabases is introduced and developed. The theory focuses on threedata constructs (collection, composition and classification).”Formats” with semantically rich yet tractable structure are builtrecursively using these constructs. Using formats, we obtainseveral nontrivial results concerning notions of relativeinformation capacity and restructuring of data sets. As such, theformat model provides a new approach for the formal study of theconstruction of “user views” and other data manipulations indatabases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)518-544
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of the ACM (JACM)
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 26 1984


  • Absolute dominance
  • absolute equivalence,
  • format (database) model
  • generic dominance
  • generic equivalence
  • relative information capacity
  • semanUc database models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Artificial Intelligence


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