On Independence Atoms and Keys

Miika Hannula, Juha Kontinen, Sebastian Link

Uniqueness and independence are two fundamental properties of data. Their enforcement in database systems can lead to higher quality data, faster data service response time, better data-driven decision making and knowledge discovery from data. The applications can be effectively unlocked by providing efficient solutions to the underlying implication problems of keys and independence atoms. Indeed, for the sole class of keys and the sole class of independence atoms the associated finite and general implication problems coincide and enjoy simple axiomatizations. However, the situation changes drastically when keys and independence atoms are combined. We show that the finite and the general implication problems are already different for keys and unary independence atoms. Furthermore, we establish a finite axiomatization for the general implication problem, and show that the finite implication problem does not enjoy a k-ary axiomatization for any k.

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