Array Theory vs. Set Theory in Managing Data

Deep Data, A-B
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In the 1970’s, Codd and Date developed a theory of databases based on sets. However, a similar theory based on arrays leads to a relational-like database model with significant advantages in analyzing large amounts of data. In an array based model, the order of the data is significant — whereas in a set based model, it is not. Hence, time series operations (like comparing a value to the value in the previous period), are complex and expensive with set-based relational databases, but simple and inexpensive with arrays. This talk covers some of the problem domains that benefit from using arrays over sets, and illustrates the different techniques that can be used.

Photo of Robert Lefkowitz

Robert Lefkowitz


Robert (a/k/a r0ml) Lefkowitz is a computer professional and amateur philosopher. He has worked primarily in large IT organizations where he facilitates information flows. His interests include semasiology and medieval history. He also juggles clubs.

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John Powell
03/01/2012 6:25am PST

One of the most entertaining and interesting db talks I have ever attended.


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