Volume 8 Number 1, Page 33-35
Teaching Students how to Find the Candidate Keys of a Relational Database Schema
University of Nebraska at Omaha
Omaha, Nebraska 68182, USA
While most database textbooks provide formal and informal definitions for the candidate key of a relational
database scheme, none provide a simple approach for finding the keys. In this paper, we present a simple algorithm that can be used by the students to correctly and efficiently identify
the candidate keys of a relational database schema. The algorithm examines the position of attributes in the functional dependencies to determine which attributes are essential and useful
for determining the keys and which attributes should be ignored. A key is found by computing the closure of essential attributes.
Keywords: Relational database, Candidate keys, Functional dependencies
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JISE - Volume 8 Number 1, Page 33.pdf
Saiedian, H. (1996). Teaching Students how to Find the Candidate Keys of a Relational Database Schema. Journal of Information Systems Education, 8(1), 33-35.