Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Advanced Databases

UM LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course

MQF LEVEL Not Applicable


DEPARTMENT Computer Information Systems

DESCRIPTION This is a unit for students that want to consider doing a study on current research topics in databases and data modelling.

The relational data model and its database languages (for example SQL) go some way to satisfy the needs of computerised systems. On the other hand, sophisticated computer assisted applications (for example CASE, CAx and GIS) apply shearing pressure on a relational DBMS. One of their unsatisfied needs is powerful modelling capabilities which have really been long advocated for in the database community.

Three advanced data modelling approaches, of the many proposals, are the object-oriented, semi-structured and the temporal. What are these data models and how do these three models satisfy the needs of CAx is the main motivation of this unit. For each data model the discussion also addresses the status of the respective standards (for the definition, access and control language) and their realisation as a DBMS’s data model. (e.g. SQL III). Further to the above, we will also be examining the spatial and active data models together with their role in today’s globalized and highly reactive information systems.

Ultimately the class has to address the possibility and gains of having to design an Information System’s repository with a number of different data models and database languages.

Database support is not only found in operational systems (e.g. OLTP) but also in tactical and management decisions systems. To give a student a taste of current examples two very important disciplines, where database technology is entrenched, are datamining and data warehousing. A good number of hours and examples are provided for the candidates.

A limited number of data models (and their associated constructs) are presented for students to gain experience in: spatial, active and distributed databases. In the case of distributed database the particular transaction processing requirements are illustrated. Case studies and practical sessions will ensure a better understanding of this unit.

• Han J, Kamber M, Datamining: Concepts and techniques, Morgan Kaufmann.
• Elmasrei R, Narathes SB, Fundamentals of Database Systems, Addison-Wesley.
• Reference: System Manuals.


STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Tutorial

Assessment Component/s Sept. Asst Session Weighting
Examination (3 Hours) Yes 85%
Assignment Yes 15%

LECTURER/S Christopher Porter
Joseph Vella


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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2023/4. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.