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Implication and referential constraints: a new formal reasoning

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2 Author(s)
Xubo Zhang ; Intel Corp., Santa Clara, CA, USA ; Ozsoyoglu, Z.M.

The authors address the issue of reasoning with two classes of commonly used semantic integrity constraints in database and knowledge-base systems: implication constraints and referential constraints. They first consider a central problem in this respect, the IRC-refuting problem, which is to decide whether a conjunctive query always produces an empty relation on (finite) database instances satisfying a given set of implication and referential constraints. Since the general problem is undecidable, they only consider acyclic referential constraints. Under this assumption, they prove that the IRC-refuting problem is decidable, and give a novel necessary and sufficient condition for it. Under the same assumption, they also study several other problems encountered in semantic query optimization, such as the semantics-based query containment problem, redundant join problem, and redundant selection-condition problem, and show that they are polynomially equivalent or reducible to the IRC-refuting problem. Moreover, they give results on reducing the complexity for some special cases of the IRC-refuting problem

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Knowledge and Data Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:9 ,  Issue: 6 )