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Bry, François (1989): Towards an Efficient Evaluation of General Queries. Quantifier and Disjunction Processing Revisited. ACM SIGMOD International Conference on the Management of Data, 31.5. - 2.6.1989, Portland, Oregon.


Database applications often require to evaluate queries containing quantifiers or disjunctions, e.g., for handling general integrity constraints. Existing efficient methods for processing quantifiers depart from the relational model as they rely on non-algebraic procedures. Looking at quantified query evaluation from a new angle, we propose an approach to process quantifiers that makes use of relational algebra operators only. Our approach performs in two phases. The first phase normalizes the queries producing a canonical form. This form permits to improve the translation into relational algebra performed during the second phase. The improved translation relies on a new operator - the complement-join - that generalizes the set difference, on algebraic expressions of universal quantifiers that avoid the expensive division operator in many cases, and on a special processing of disjunctions by means of constrained outer-joins. Our method achieves an efficiency at least comparable with that of previous proposals, better in most cases. Furthermore, it is considerably simpler to implement as it completely relies on relational data structures and operators.