Difference Between Generalization and Specialization in DBMS

Generalization and Specialization are pretty common terms used in the DBMS (Database Management System) with the same features as used in Object-Oriented Technology. There is a fundamental difference between generalization and specialization in DBMS. In this article, we will discuss the same.

The process of Generalization takes place when a user acknowledges the overall similarities and ignores the differences present between the DBMS tables (relations) or child classes or lower entities for forming a higher entity.

On the other hand, in the case of Specialization, we witness a split in the higher entity for the formation of lower entities. This way, we discover the overall difference present between these lower entities.

Specialization and Generalization are just the opposite as compared to each other.

What is Generalization in DBMS?

Generalization works with the use of the bottom-up approach and leads to a reduced size of schema. One can easily apply it to a group of various entities, and it does not use inheritance. In simpler words, generalization is a process that creates groupings from multiple sets of different entities. It leads to the production of higher-level sets of entities by taking the union of multiple sets of lower-level entities. The resultant entity set (of higher-level) obtains some of the very common features from the lower-level ones. Generalization totally ignores the differences and considers only the similarities present between various entities present in the union operation.

What is Specialization in DBMS?

Specialization basically works with the use of the top-down approach and leads to an increased size of schema. One can only apply it to one single entity. In simpler words, Specialization is a process that creates subgroups within the set of an entity. It is just the reverse of the process of Generalization. Basically, Specialization forms a set of lower-level entities by taking a subset of an entity that is of high-level. It splits the high-level entity to form multiple sets of low entities. This approach may also make use of the process of inheritance.

Difference between Generalization and Specialization in DBMS

Here is a list of the differences between Specialization and Generalization in DBMS.

Parameters Generalization in DBMS Specialization in DBMS
Basics This process operates in a bottom-up manner. This process operates in a top-down manner.
Entities The entity of higher-level must always have the lower-level entity. The entities of the higher level might not consist of the entities of the lower level.
Function The generalization process extracts the most common features of various entities and leads to the formation of a new entity. The specialization process takes up an entity and splits it to form various new entities- each of which inherits some of the features of the splitting entity.
Application A user can easily apply a generalization to a group of different entities. We can only apply specialization to a single entity.
Size It leads to a reduction in the size of a schema. It leads to an increase in the size of a schema.
Result This process leads to the formation of a single entity out of multiple entities. This process leads to the formation of multiple entities from one single entity.

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