Propagating functional dependencies with conditions

Wenfei Fan, Shuai Ma, Yanli Hu, Jie Liu, Yinghui Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The dependency propagation problem is to determine, given a view defined on data sources and a set of dependencies on the sources, whether another dependency is guaranteed to hold on the view. This paper investigates dependency propagation for recently proposed conditional functional dependencies (CFDs). The need for this study is evident in data integration, exchange and cleaning since dependencies on data sources often only hold conditionally on the view. We investigate dependency propagation for views defined in various fragments of relational algebra, CFDs as view dependencies, and for source dependencies given as either CFDs or traditional functional dependencies (FDs). (a) We establish lower and upper bounds, all matching, ranging from ptime to undecidable. These not only provide the first results for
CFD propagation, but also extend the classical work of FD propagation by giving new complexity bounds in the presence of finite domains. (b) We provide the first algorithm for computing a minimal cover of all CFDs propagated via
SPC views; the algorithm has the same complexity as one of the most efficient algorithms for computing a cover of FDs propagated via a projection view, despite the increased expressive power of CFDs and SPC views. (c) We experimentally verify that the algorithm is efficient.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-407
Number of pages17
JournalProceedings of the VLDB Endowment (PVLDB)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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