Data Structure Diagrams

A data structure diagram (DSD) is the result of a process of hierarchical decomposition of a complex data area, which is subdivided as far as possible (and reasonable). DSDs are hierarchical tree diagrams depicting "may consist of" relationships between data items if read from top to bottom and following the connecting lines (Diagram 1). The boxes in the diagram may represent

Diagram 1: Data structure diagrams

Attributes are marked by the abbreviation "Attr." on the right hand top of the box. A little arrow pointing to the bottom of a shaded data box indicates that it represents a part, a little arrow pointing to the bottom of an unshaded data box indicates entity. The name of the entity is given in parenthesis in the box.

DSDs may span several entities. Fully resolved DSDs (without references to complex data items) are related to "views" in a relational database system. Loops in the DSD represent a one-to-many relationship if read from the top.

Definitions: Terminology, Entity Relation Diagrams
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