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The New Relational Database Dictionary by C.J. Date

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2. (Multiattribute PACK): Let relation r have interval attributes A1, A2, ..., An (n > 1). Then (and only then) the expression PACK r ON (A1, A2, ..., An) denotes the packing of r on A1, A2, ..., An, in that order, and it’s equivalent to the following—

PACK ( ... ( PACK ( PACK r′ ON ( A1 ) ) ON ( A2 ) ) ... ) ON ( An )

—where r′ is the fully unpacked form of r (in other words, r′ is the relation denoted by the expression UNPACK r ON (A1, A2, ..., An)). 3. (Nullary PACK) Let r be a relation. Then (and only then) the expression PACK r ON ( ) denotes the packing of r on no attributes, and it returns relation r itself.

Examples: 1. Let relation r be as follows:

┌─────┬─────────── SNO DURING    ├═════┼═══════════ S2   [d02:d04] S2   [d03:d05] S4   [d02:d05] S4   [d04:d06] S4   [d09:d10] └─────┴───────────

Then packing r on DURING yields:

┌─────┬─────────── SNO DURING    ├═════┼═══════════ S2   [d02:d05] S4   [d02:d06] S4   [d09:d10] └─────┴───────────

2. Let relation r be as follows:

┌─────────┬─────────── A1       A2        ├═════════┼═══════════ [P2:P4] [d01:d04] [P3:P5] [d01:d04] [P2:P4] [d05:d06] [P2:P4] [d06:d09] └─────────┴───────────

Then packing r on (A1,A2) yields:

┌─────────┬─────────── A1       A2        ├═════════┼═══════════ [P2:P5] [d01:d04] [P2:P4] [d05:d09] └─────────┴───────────

By contrast, packing r on (A2,A1) yields:

┌─────────┬─────────── A1       A2        ├═════════┼═════

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