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Which field or theory deals with table mathematics?

  1. Feb 20, 2013 #1
    Hello all

    I am a new member here. I've found this forum today by chance.

    My question is, which theory or field of math deals with tables, meta data and table functions? Is it group theory?

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 20, 2013 #2


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    Could you be more specific?

    Tables are convenient arrangements of mathematical data or calculations.

    I'm not sure if there is a deeper theory than that.
  4. Feb 20, 2013 #3
    For example, the field of math "linear algebra" deals with matrices and matrix functions; matrix multiplication, inverse matrix, eigenvectors and so on, in the context of linear equations.

    I mean a field of math like "linear algebra" for tables and analytical table functions.

    * There are typical analytical table functions like aggregation and distribution.

    * Tables have in principle numbers and attributes; attributes add structure and combination logic to tables. Without attributes tables would be like matrices.

    * Tables have meta-data that define the relationships between fields of tables.

    As an example, consider following mathematical problem:

    We have two sets of tables:

    Set1: {t1, t2}
    Set2: {t3, t4, t5}


    Does the information content of Set1 contain the information content of Set2?

    ... where we define information content as follows:

    If we can derive all the tables of Set2 by applying the available table functions on tables in Set1 (considering also meta data relationships) we can say:

    Information content of Set1 contains information content of Set2.

    Which field of math deals with such problems?

  5. Feb 20, 2013 #4


    Staff: Mentor

    AFAIK, what you're asking is not a part of mathematics, but is probably studied in courses that have to do with relational databases.
  6. Feb 20, 2013 #5
    This sounds more like computer science than math. I'm sure it uses many techniques from mathematics, but I can't imagine anyone really being interested in this outside of computer science.
  7. Feb 21, 2013 #6


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    It sounds like you are searching for a discussion on topics like mapping with a little seasoning from abstract algebra (rings, fields, and such).
  8. Feb 27, 2013 #7
    Thank you for the comments. The topic should possibly be covered by group theory:

    As I understand, abstract algebra is also a part of group theory.

    I find it surprising that computer scientists haven't yet developed a sound theory for information content of tables. It would have applications in many fields including statistical data analysis and business analytics.

  9. Feb 27, 2013 #8
    Groups are a object study within algebra. That said, your question has a tenuous connection to group theory at best.
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