Monday, January 4, 2010

The differences among a relationship instance, a relationship type, and a relationship set.

A relationship type R among n entity types E1, E2, …, En is a set of associations among entities from these types. Actually, R is a set of relationship instances ri where each ri is an n-tuple of entities (e1, e2, …, en), and each entity ej in ri is a member of entity type Ej, 1≤j≤n. Hence, a relationship type is a mathematical relation on E1, E2, …, En, or alternatively it can be defined as a subset of the Cartesian product E1x E2x … xEn . Here, entity types E1, E2, …, En defines a set of relationship, called relationship sets.

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