Ampersand: Applying relation algebra in practice

G. Michels, S.J.C. Joosten, J.C.S.P. Woude, van der, S.M.M. Joosten

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Relation algebra can be used to specify information systems and business processes. It was used in practice in two large IT projects in the Dutch government. But which are the features that make relation algebra practical? This paper discusses these features and motivates them from an information system designer’s point of view. The resulting language, Ampersand, is a syntactically sugared version of relation algebra. It is a typed language, which is supported by a compiler. The design approach, also called Ampersand, uses software tools that compile Ampersand scripts into functional specifications. This makes Ampersand interesting as an application of relation algebra in the industrial practice. The purpose of this paper is to define Ampersand and motivate its features from a practical perspective. This work is part of the research programme of the Information Systems & Business Processes (IS&BP) department of the Open University.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRelational and Algebraic Methods in Computer Science (12th International Conference, RAMICS 2011, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, May 30–June 3, 2011. Proceedings)
EditorsH. Swart, de
Place of PublicationBerlin
ISBN (Print)978-3-642-21069-3
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
ISSN (Print)0302-9743


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