relational algebra

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relational algebra

(database, theory)
A family of algebra with a well-founded semantics used for modelling the data stored in relational databases, and defining queries on it. The main operations of the relational algebra are the set operations (such as union, intersection, and cartesian product), selection (keeping only some lines of a table) and the projection (keeping only some columns).

The relational data model describes how the data is structured.

Codd's reduction algorithm can convert from relational calculus to relational algebra.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (

relational algebra

(1) The branch of mathematics that deals with relations; for example, AND, OR, NOT, IS and CONTAINS.

(2) In a relational database, a collection of rules for dealing with tables; for example, JOIN, UNION and INTERSECT.
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