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This chapter is about set theory. Set theory provides an excellent language to reliably describe complex database designs, data retrieval, and data manipulation. Set theory is reliable because it is both precise and powerful; this will become clear from Chapter 5 onwards. As explained before, you’ll need to exercise some patience: Chapters 1 through 4 first lay down the foundation.

In the section “Sets and Elements,” the concepts of a set and an element of a set are introduced. In the section “Methods to Specify Sets,” you’ll see how you can specify sets using the enumerative, predicative, or substitutive method.

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