Utilizing Nested Normal Form to Design Redundancy Free JSON Schemas

Wai Yin Mok


JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is a lightweight data-interchange format for the Internet. JSON is built on two structures: (1) a collection of name/value pairs and (2) an ordered list of values (http://www.json.org/). Because of this simple approach, JSON is easy to use and it has the potential to be the data interchange format of choice for the Internet. Similar to XML, JSON schemas allow nested structures to model hierarchical data. As data interchange over the Internet increases exponentially due to cloud computing or otherwise, redundancy free JSON data are an attractive form of communication because they improve the quality of data communication through eliminating update anomaly. Nested Normal Form, a normal form for hierarchical data, is a precise characterization of redundancy. A nested table, or a hierarchical schema, is in Nested Normal Form if and only if it is free of redundancy caused by multivalued and functional dependencies. Using Nested Normal Form as a guide, this paper introduces a JSON schema design methodology that begins with UML use case diagrams, communication diagrams and class diagrams that model a system under study. Based on the use cases’ execution frequencies and the data passed between involved parties in the communication diagrams, the proposed methodology selects classes from the class diagrams to be the roots of JSON scheme trees and repeatedly adds classes from the class diagram to the scheme trees as long as the schemas satisfy Nested Normal Form. This process continues until all of the classes in the class diagram have been added to some JSON scheme trees.

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International Journal of Recent Contributions from Engineering, Science & IT (iJES). eISSN: 2197-8581
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