The Consistency of Probabilistic Databases with Independent Cells

Amir Gilad*, Aviram Imber*, Benny Kimelfeld*

*Corresponding author for this work

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


A probabilistic database with attribute-level uncertainty consists of relations where cells of some attributes may hold probability distributions rather than deterministic content. Such databases arise, implicitly or explicitly, in the context of noisy operations such as missing data imputation, where we automatically fill in missing values, column prediction, where we predict unknown attributes, and database cleaning (and repairing), where we replace the original values due to detected errors or violation of integrity constraints. We study the computational complexity of problems that regard the selection of cell values in the presence of integrity constraints. More precisely, we focus on functional dependencies and study three problems: (1) deciding whether the constraints can be satisfied by any choice of values, (2) finding a most probable such choice, and (3) calculating the probability of satisfying the constraints. The data complexity of these problems is determined by the combination of the set of functional dependencies and the collection of uncertain attributes. We give full classifications into tractable and intractable complexities for several classes of constraints, including a single dependency, matching constraints, and unary functional dependencies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication26th International Conference on Database Theory, ICDT 2023
EditorsFloris Geerts, Brecht Vandevoort
PublisherSchloss Dagstuhl- Leibniz-Zentrum fur Informatik GmbH, Dagstuhl Publishing
ISBN (Electronic)9783959772709
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2023
Externally publishedYes
Event26th International Conference on Database Theory, ICDT 2023 - Ioannina, Greece
Duration: 28 Mar 202331 Mar 2023

Publication series

NameLeibniz International Proceedings in Informatics, LIPIcs
ISSN (Print)1868-8969


Conference26th International Conference on Database Theory, ICDT 2023


  • Probabilistic databases
  • attribute-level uncertainty
  • functional dependencies
  • most probable database


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