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Assignment 2: Databases
Felipe Orihuela-Espina, Carl Wilding, Pieter Joubert, Daniel Fentham
April 1, 2022
1 Goals of the assignment 1
2 Preparing your submission 1
2.1 Style . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
3 Assessment 2
4 The Scientific Monitoring Key for Taxed Trading Routes (Smoked Trout) 2
4.1 Exercise 1: Create database and connect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
4.2 Exercise 2: Implement the database . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
4.3 Exercise 3: Populate the database . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
4.4 Exercise 4: Query the database . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
1 Goals of the assignment
This assignment has been designed to assess your SQL skills on all different stages requested by the
module syllabus; 1) database creation and implementation, 2) database population and 3) database
querying. Hence, in this assignment, using SQL commands in postgreSQL you will:
1. Create a database and connect to the database
2. Implement the given design of the database
3. Populate the database with the data facilitated in the assignment
4. Perform the requested queries on the database.
To achieve these goals, we have organized the assignment in the form of one exercise per goal. Each
exercise is further described below.
2 Preparing your submission
In order to solve the exercises described below, you will have to write several SQL commands. Write
all these commands in a single text file with extension .sql. The file should be named:
where is the prefix of your student institutional email account at the University of Birmingham.
Submit a single .sql text file with all your commands for all exercises in order. This file will be
executed in a 64-bit Debian container with PostgreSQL v13.4 using the \i command. For all exercises,
assume a user account ’fsad’ with password ‘fsad2022’ permission to create databases already exists.
This user also has permissions to read local files which will be important for Exercise 3 (see Sect. 4.3).
Your code will be executed and evaluated using this common user account which means that those are
the only permissions that “you” will have.
✑ Please note that whether the script run in your machine or not, is irrelevant. The script ought
to run in the evaluator’s machine which is why we are giving you the exact configuration where
you will be tested.
2.1 Style
In the .sql solutions file, clearly separate each exercise with comments e.g.:
1 /* *********************************************************
2 * Exercise 2. Implement the design of the Smoked Trout database
3 ************************************************************ */
Use meaningful names. Use adequate capitalization (of reserved SQL keywords, names in camel
case, etc), spacing and comments to make your code readable. Not every attribute has to be NOT
NULL. Attributes of type text or varchar do not have to be unnecessarily long. For instance:
Bad style
1 create table x ( theattribute int PRIMARY key , z varchar (255) NOT NULL );
2 Select z from x ;
Good style
1 CREATE TABLE meaningfulName (
2 objectID serial ,
3 objectName varchar (30) ,
4 PRIMARY KEY ( object ID ));
6 -- Retrieve the names of the meaningfulName entities
7 SELECT objectName
8 FROM meaningfulName ;
3 Assessment
The assignment is made of 4 exercises weighted according to Table 1.
Exercise Weight [%]
Exer. 1 - Create database and connect 10%
Exer. 2 - Implement database 25%
Exer. 3 - Populate the database 25%
Exer. 4 - Query the database 40%
Table 1: Rubric
✑ Beware of cascading errors! In SQL, if one command fails, an error is raised, but the execution
of the file is not stop. The failed command can have unexpected consequences on the outcome
of subsequent commands. For instance, if the command to populate a table fails, and the table
is left empty or with less records than it should, subsequent queries to that table will operate on
incorrect information, and hence may produce wrong results.
4 The Scientific Monitoring Key for Taxed Trading Routes (Smoked
Emperor Knowledgeable VII of the Scientia galaxy is commisionning a new database to control and
tax the trade routes on his vast empire to your company SmartStudent Ltd. The database ought to be
able to fulfill the following requirements:
❼ Trade routes are composed by a sequential list of ports of call and are identified by a monitoring
key which is unique. They are operated by a interstellar shipping company and assigned a number
of space ships to cover it, i.e. fleet size. Taxes on each route are charged at 12% over revenues of
the last fiscal exercise, so each route has also to store the last exercise revenue in Experiments, the
currency of the Scientifc empire.
❼ Ports of call are space stations located at a certain longitude and latitude on a certain planet
where products are bought and sold.
❼ Planets are located in a star system and have a certain population. The most common way to
refer to a planet is by its name, but beware! Different planets may have the same name (usually on
different star systems but that is not a hard rule).
❼ Any planet can have any number of space stations, but they all have at least one.
❼ Planets are at a certain average distance with other planets measured in parsecs. One parsec is
equal to about 31 trillion kilometers, which is longer than a light year!. The trade route length is
just the sum of the planetary hops among the ports of call in the route visited in due visit order.
Within planets distances among stations are considered negligible, that is, all stations in a given
planet are a distance 0 parsecs from each other.
❼ There are two types of products; raw materials and manufactured goods. All products have
names, an origin (i.e. planet), occupy a certain volume per ton and have a certain value per ton.
Raw materials are stored in a certain state of matter (gas, liquid, solid or plasma), can be either
fundamental or composite, and have an associated extraction date. Manufactured goods in turn
are made of a list of other products (whether raw materials or manufactured goods) and have
a manufacturing date in the Universal Calendar, which oddly very much resembles the Western
calendar on Earth.
❼ Products are extracted or produced in batches originating at some planet. There can be repeated
batches of the same product, and different batches of the same product may come from different
origins. These batches are traded at the space stations. Not all batches may have yet been traded,
but every sell is accompanied by a buy. Sells occur at a station of the batch origin i.e. in the same
planet that produced it. Buys must occur at a station different of the selling station (whether in
the same planet or other).
Your database architect comes up with the conceptual design in Figure 1. You might need to make
adaptations to the conceptual design in order to implement an adequate physical design.
Table 2 is a list of the star systems ruled by the Scientific Empire, the inhabited planets and the
space stations. In the assignment page, further find the data files with information about the traded
products, space stations locations, trading routes, the batches, and the trading operations.
Star System Planet Space Stations
Algebra (p. 1758) Gauss, and Cantor
Geometry I (p. 348) Euclides, Hypathia, Fermat and Descartes
Geometry II (p. 586) Riemann and Euler
Calculus (p. 1396) Newton, and Leibnitz
Statistics (p. 2685) Pearson, Student and Box
Logic (p. 224) Dedekind
Computer Science
Algebra (p. 639) Boole
Algorithmics (p. 1214) Al-Khwarizmi, Turing and Lovelace
Statistics (p. 996) Kolmogorov
Electromagnetism (p. 1562) Maxwell and Boltzmann
Thermodynamics (p. 907) Sadi-Carnot
Relativity (p. 567) Einstein
Chemistry Organic Chemistry (p. 331) Woodward
Inorganic Chemistry (p. 800) Lavoisier and Curie
Phylosophy Logic (p. 76) Aristotle and Kant
Table 2: Star systems, planets and space stations of the Scientific Empire. The number in brackets
represent the population in million of inhabitants.
4.1 Exercise 1: Create database and connect
During your testing it may be convenient to start your .sql command file with something like:
1 \ cd ’ < YOUR \ _PATH \ _HERE > ’
2 -- This path may be different in your case ...
3 \ connect postgres ;
SpaceStation Planet
RawMaterial ManufacturedGood
Fleet size
StationID Name
Figure 1: Conceptual ER model of Smoked Trout.
4 DROP DATABASE IF EXISTS " smokedTrout " ;
Thus ensuring you start from a “clean” database each test and you can use relative paths within
the command files.
Steps to complete the exercise:
1. Create a database called SmokedTrout.
2. Connect to the database
4.2 Exercise 2: Implement the database
Follow the design in Figure 1. Make sure the attributes have the correct names. Before creating the
tables, declare the new types that you will need. Having enum types reduces memory waste and chance
of making errors.
Then, continue with creating the tables infrastructure. Note that because of foreign keys and
inheritances, some tables ought to be created in a certain order. In this exercise we shall fold the
relations 1:N relation to the N side. However, the 0:N relations will be implemented in separated tables
to avoid the presence of many NULL values (a good design criteria). Note that this is an implementation
criterion that we are making beyond the mere conceptual design that we were given. It goes without
saying that this would have been the only possible solution, but it is the one that we shall take for this
You will have to choose the adequate types for your attributes. Have a look at the data provided
to get an idea of what to expect for each attribute.
Steps to complete the exercise:
1. Create a new ENUM type called materialState for storing the raw material state; Solid, Liquid, Gas,
2. Create a new ENUM type called materialComposition for storing whether a material is Fundamental
or Composite.
3. Create the table TradingRoute with the corresponding attributes.
4. Create the table Planet with the corresponding attributes.
5. Create the table SpaceStation with the corresponding attributes.
6. Create the parent table Product with the corresponding attributes.
7. Create the child table RawMaterial with the corresponding attributes.
8. Create the child table ManufacturedGood. Note that in principle this table has no additional
attributes, yet it is needed to make the proper links in the table MadeOf that follows.
9. Create the table MadeOf with the corresponding attributes.
✑ As we explained in class, the implementation of the inheritance provided by most DBMS are
not (mathematically) strictly correct, which has important consequences. Here is an excellent
example; Ideally, attributes linking the table MadeOf to the ManufacturedGood and Product
respectively would be foreign keys pointing to the corresponding product. HOWEVER, one
of the known caveats of postgreSQL implementation of inheretance is precisely that you can
either use foreign keys, or table inheritance, but not both.
So, for this exercise, keep the inheritance and do not declare the foreign key restriction. It goes
without saying this open the door to potential incoherences in the database. For this exercise,
do not worry, as the data has been curated for you, but in general beware of this limitation!
10. Create the table Batch with the corresponding attributes.
11. Create the table Sells with the corresponding attributes.
12. Create the table Buys with the corresponding attributes.
13. Create the table CallsAt with the corresponding attributes.
14. Create the table Distance with the corresponding attributes.
4.3 Exercise 3: Populate the database
Now it is time to populate the database with data. Together with this assignment you are given a set
of files that contains all the data that you will be using for the assignment. You do not need to create
additional data.
Make sure that all paths used in this exercise are relative e.g. ‘./data’ rather than absolute. This
is because the file tree to your working directory in your machine will be different from that of your
✑ When importing, do use the \copy command rather than the SQL instruction COPY. This is
because the COPY statement is reserved for admins.
You will notice that the names of the columns in the csv files have different names than the attribute
names in the design. This is intentional. Given the different names, in order to import data from one
of the .csv files into one of the database tables, one possible solution is to create an intermediate Dummy
table. The dummy table will have the attributes with the names equal to those in the .csv file. Then, you
can use an INSERT INTO ... SELECT ... FROM Dummy; command to import the information. If you
opt for this solution, make sure you dispose of the Dummy table afterwards using DROP TABLE Dummy;.
Repeat the trick as many times as needed to populate all tables.
✑ You may be tempted to rename the files or perhaps change the names of some of the columns in
the original files to facilitate your importing with the \copy command. Don’t! First, the exercise
is intentionally designed to make you think like you would not have writing permissions over the
data files i.e. as if you could not change the data files content. And second (and more pragmatical
for you here), you will be evaluated with your SQL being executed reading the data files in your
evaluator’s computer and these will have the given column headers; not yours!
Steps to complete the exercise:
1. Unzip all the data files in a subfolder called data from where you have your code file *.sql, e.g.
1 < AssignmentFolder >/
2 | - _Assignment2 . sql
3 | - data /
4 | - Planets . csv
5 | - ...
2. Populate the table TradingRoute with the data in the file TradeRoutes.csv.
2 MonitoringKey SERIAL ,
3 FleetSize int ,
4 OperatingCompany varchar (40) ,
5 LastYearRevenue real NOT NULL );
6 -- This table has the same headers that the file
7 -- Note that there is no need to declare a primary key for the dummy table
9 \ copy Dummy FROM ’ ./ data / TradeRoutes . csv ’ WITH ( FORMAT CSV , HEADER );
11 INSERT INTO TradingRoute ( MonitoringKey , OperatingCompany ,
12 FleetSize , LastYearRevenue )
13 SELECT MonitoringKey , OperatingCompany ,
14 FleetSize , LastYearRevenue FROM Dummy ;
16 DROP TABLE Dummy ;
3. Populate the table Planet with the data in the file Planets.csv.
4. Populate the table SpaceStation with the data in the file SpaceStations.csv.
5. Populate the tables RawMaterial and Product with the data in the file Products Raw.csv. Note
that no particular effort is needed to separate the info for the parent table. You can proceed as if
you were only populating the child table.
6. Populate the tables ManufacturedGood and Product with the data in the file Products Manufactured.csv.
7. Populate the table MadeOf with the data in the file MadeOf.csv.
8. Populate the table Batch with the data in the file Batches.csv.
9. Populate the table Sells with the data in the file Sells.csv.
10. Populate the table Buys with the data in the file Buys.csv.
11. Populate the table CallsAt with the data in the file CallsAt.csv.
12. Populate the table Distance with the data in the file PlanetDistances.csv.
4.4 Exercise 4: Query the database
Resolve the following queries:
1. Report last year taxes per company
❼ Calculate the taxes as derived information from last year revenues and add the taxes across
the different trading routes. Then, report each operating company and its total taxes.
2. What’s the longest trading route in parsecs?
❼ Retrieve the longest route monitoringKey and its total length in parsecs.
✑ Return EXACTLY what you are being requested. Do not return additional information.
Steps to complete the exercise:
❼ Query 1: Report last year taxes per company
1. Add an attribute Taxes to table TradingRoute
2. Set the derived attribute taxes as 12% of LastYearRevenue
3. Report the operating company and the sum of its taxes group by company.
❼ Query 2: What’s the longest trading route in parsecs?
1. Create a dummy table RouteLength to store the trading route and their lengths.
2. Create a view EnrichedCallsAt that brings together trading route, space stations and planets.
You can use an INNER JOIN with CallsAt and SpaceStation.
3. Add the support to execute an anonymous code block as follows;
1 DO
2 ✩✩
5 END ;
6 ✩✩;
All the rest of the steps of this exercise except for the last one will now occur within this DO
4. Within the declare section, declare a variable of type real to store a route total distance.
1 routeDistance real := 0.0; -- Trading route total distance
5. Within the declare section, declare a variable of type real to store a hop partial distance.
6. Within the declare section, declare a variable of type record to iterate over routes.
7. Within the declare section, declare a variable of type record to iterate over hops.
8. Within the declare section, declare a variable of type text to transiently build dynamic queries.
9. Within the main body section, loop over routes in TradingRoutes, e.g.
1 FOR rRoute IN SELECT MonitoringKey FROM TradingRoute
10. Within the loop over routes, get all visited planets (in order) by this trading route. You can
achieve this using a dynamic view PortsOfCall. To create a dynamic view, use the variable of
type text to create a string that contains the CREATE VIEW command, and for which its WHERE
clause will be dependent on the route monitoring key.
1 query := ’ CREATE ␣ VIEW ␣ PortsOfCall ␣ AS ␣ ’
2 || ’ SELECT ␣ Planet , ␣ VisitOrder ␣ ’
3 || ’ FROM ␣ EnrichedCallsAt ␣ ’
4 || ’ WHERE ␣ MonitoringKey ␣ = ␣ ’ || rRoute . MonitoringKey
5 || ’␣ ORDER ␣ BY ␣ VisitOrder ’;
11. Within the loop over routes, execute the dynamic view using command EXECUTE
1 EXECUTE query ;
12. Within the loop over routes, create a view Hops for storing the hops of that route. One way of
doing this is by INNER JOINing the view created in Step 10 with itself ON the visit order being
13. Within the loop over routes, initialize the route total distance to 0.0.
14. Within the loop over routes, create an inner loop over the hops
15. Within the loop over hops, get the partial distances of the hop. You can achieve this using a
dynamic query over table Distance, and for which its WHERE clause will be dependent on the hop
origin and destination planets.
16. Within the loop over hops, execute the dynamic view using command EXECUTE and store the
outcome INTO the hop partial distance.
17. Within the loop over hops, accumulate the hop partial distance to the route total distance.
18. Go back to the routes loop and insert into the dummy table RouteLength the pair (RouteMonitoringKey,RouteTotalDistance).
19. Within the loop over routes, drop the view for Hops (and cascade to delete dependent objects).
20. Within the loop over routes, drop the view for PortsOfCall (and cascade to delete dependent
21. Finally, just report the longest route in the dummy table RouteLength.

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