## Conjunctive-Query Containment and Constraint Satisfaction (1998)

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Venue: | Journal of Computer and System Sciences |

Citations: | 132 - 13 self |

### BibTeX

@INPROCEEDINGS{Kolaitis98conjunctive-querycontainment,

author = {Phokion G. Kolaitis and Moshe Y. Vardi},

title = {Conjunctive-Query Containment and Constraint Satisfaction},

booktitle = {Journal of Computer and System Sciences},

year = {1998},

pages = {205--213}

}

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### Abstract

Conjunctive-query containment is recognized as a fundamental problem in database query evaluation and optimization. At the same time, constraint satisfaction is recognized as a fundamental problem in artificial intelligence. What do conjunctive-query containment and constraint satisfaction have in common? Our main conceptual contribution in this paper is to point out that, despite their very different formulation, conjunctive-query containment and constraint satisfaction are essentially the same problem. The reason is that they can be recast as the following fundamental algebraic problem: given two finite relational structures A and B, is there a homomorphism h : A ! B? As formulated above, the homomorphism problem is uniform in the sense that both relational structures A and B are part of the input. By fixing the structure B, one obtains the following non-uniform problem: given a finite relational structure A, is there a homomorphism h : A ! B? In general, non-uniform tractability results do not uniformize. Thus, it is natural to ask: which tractable cases of non-uniform tractability results for constraint satisfaction and conjunctive-query containment do uniformize? Our main technical contribution in this paper is to show that several cases of tractable non-uniform constraint satisfaction problems do indeed uniformize. We exhibit three non-uniform tractability results that uniformize and, thus, give rise to polynomial-time solvable cases of constraint satisfaction and conjunctive-query containment.