Multivalued Dependency

  • Multivalued dependency occurs when two attributes in a table are independent of each other but, both depend on a third attribute.
  • A multivalued dependency consists of at least two attributes that are dependent on a third attribute that's why it always requires at least three attributes.

Example: Suppose there is a bike manufacturer company which produces two colors(white and black) of each model every year.

M2011 2008 White
M2001 2008 Black
M3001 2013 White
M3001 2013 Black
M4006 2017 White
M4006 2017 Black

Here columns COLOR and MANUF_YEAR are dependent on BIKE_MODEL and independent of each other.

In this case, these two columns can be called as multivalued dependent on BIKE_MODEL. The representation of these dependencies is shown below:

This can be read as "BIKE_MODEL multidetermined MANUF_YEAR" and "BIKE_MODEL multidetermined COLOR".

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Multivalued Dependency