Extending a multi-set relational algebra to a parallel environment

P.W.P.J. Grefen, Jan Flokstra

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Parallel database systems will very probably be the future for high-performance data-intensive applications. In the past decade, many parallel database systems have been developed, together with many languages and approaches to specify operations in these systems. A common background is still missing, however. This paper proposes an extended relational algebra for this purpose, based on the well-known standard relational algebra. The extended algebra provides both complete database manipulation language features, and data distribution and process allocation primitives to describe parallelism. It is defined in terms of multi-sets of tuples to allow handling of duplicates and to obtain a close connection to the world of high-performance data processing. Due to its algebraic nature, the language is well suited for optimization and parallelization through expression rewriting. The proposed language can be used as a database manipulation language on its own, as has been done in the PRISMA parallel database project, or as a formal basis for other languages, like SQL.
Original languageUndefined
Article number10.1007/BF00122149
Pages (from-to)81-99
Number of pages19
JournalDistributed and parallel databases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1996


  • IR-66240
  • EWI-6298

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