Techniques and Analysis for Denormalization of Database

J.-J. Chen, X. Wang, W.-W. Cheng, J.-C.J. Chen (USA), and H.-M. Lee (Taiwan)


– Information technology, database systems, performance evaluation, Web and Internet, denormalization.


– It is generally recognized that all relational database design should be based on a normalized logical data model since normalization proposes a way to develop an optimum design from a logical perspective. It, however, may yield database schemes that are less than optimum from a performance perspective. A normalized set of relational schemes is the optimal environment and should be implemented for whenever possible. Yet, in some situations, denormalization may be necessary. Retrieval performance needs dictate very quick retrieval capability for data stored in relational databases, especially more and more access to database is through internet, where users concern more prompt responses than an optimum design of databases. With respective to performance of retrieval, denormalization is not necessarily a bad decision if implemented following a systematic approach to large scale database, where there are dozens of relational tables. This paper will present such a systematic approach, which is organized as follows: after the background overview, some denormalization techniques are examined to deal with different data situations; then, some denormalization strategies are introduced; next, a set of denormalization analysis with corresponding tools will be discussed aiming at identifying how to conduct denormalization; some final remarks concludes this paper.

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