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36
Principles of Programming with Complex Objects and Collection Types
 Theoretical Computer Science
, 1995
"... We present a new principle for the development of database query languages that the primitive operations should be organized around types. Viewing a relational database as consisting of sets of records, this principle dictates that we should investigate separately operations for records and sets. Th ..."
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Cited by 146 (29 self)
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We present a new principle for the development of database query languages that the primitive operations should be organized around types. Viewing a relational database as consisting of sets of records, this principle dictates that we should investigate separately operations for records and sets. There are two immediate advantages of this approach, which is partly inspired by basic ideas from category theory. First, it provides a language for structures in which record and set types may be freely combined: nested relations or complex objects. Second, the fundamental operations for sets are closely related to those for other "collection types" such as bags or lists, and this suggests how database languages may be uniformly extended to these new types. The most general operation on sets, that of structural recursion, is one in which not all programs are welldefined. In looking for limited forms of this operation that always give rise to welldefined operations, we find a number of close ...
Approximation in Databases
 In PPCP'93, First International Workshop on Principles and Practice of Constraint Programming
, 1995
"... One source of partial information in databases is the need to combine information from several databases. Even if each database is complete for some "world", the combined databases will not be, and answers to queries against such combined databases can only be approximated. In this paper w ..."
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Cited by 136 (14 self)
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One source of partial information in databases is the need to combine information from several databases. Even if each database is complete for some "world", the combined databases will not be, and answers to queries against such combined databases can only be approximated. In this paper we describe various situations in which a precise answer cannot be obtained for a query asked against multiple databases. Based on an analysis of these situations, we propose a classification of constructs that can be used to model approximations. A major goal is to obtain universality properties for these models of approximations. Universality properties suggest syntax for languages with approximations based on the operations which are naturally associated with them. We prove universality properties for most of the approximation constructs. Then we use them to design languages built around datatypes given by the approximation constructs. A straightforward approach results in langauges that have a numb...
Models for incomplete and probabilistic information.
 IEEE Data Engineering Bulletin
, 2006
"... Abstract. We discuss, compare and relate some old and some new models for incomplete and probabilistic databases. We characterize the expressive power of ctables over infinite domains and we introduce a new kind of result, algebraic completion, for studying less expressive models. By viewing proba ..."
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Cited by 83 (9 self)
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Abstract. We discuss, compare and relate some old and some new models for incomplete and probabilistic databases. We characterize the expressive power of ctables over infinite domains and we introduce a new kind of result, algebraic completion, for studying less expressive models. By viewing probabilistic models as incompleteness models with additional probability information, we define completeness and closure under query languages of general probabilistic database models and we introduce a new such model, probabilistic ctables, that is shown to be complete and closed under the relational algebra.
Query Languages for Bags and Aggregate Functions
 Journal of Computer and System Sciences
, 1997
"... Theoretical foundations for querying databases based on bags are studied in this paper. We fully determine the strength of many polynomialtime bag operators relative to an ambient query language. Then we obtain BQL, a query language for bags, by picking the strongest combination of these operators. ..."
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Cited by 57 (32 self)
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Theoretical foundations for querying databases based on bags are studied in this paper. We fully determine the strength of many polynomialtime bag operators relative to an ambient query language. Then we obtain BQL, a query language for bags, by picking the strongest combination of these operators. The relationship between the nested relational algebra and various fragments of BQL is investigated. The precise amount of extra power that BQL possesses over the nested relational algebra is determined. It is shown that the additional expressiveness of BQL amounts to adding aggregate functions to a relational language. The expressive power of BQL and related languages is investigated in depth. We prove that these languages possess the conservative extension property. That is, the expressibility of queries in these languages is independent of the nesting height of intermediate data. Using this result, we show that recursive queries, such as transitive closure, are not definable in BQL. A ne...
Deciding Containment for Queries with Complex Objects and Aggregations
, 1997
"... We address the problem of query containment and query equivalence for complex objects. We show that for a certain conjunctive query language for complex objects, query containment and weak query equivalence are decidable. Our results have two consequences. First, when the answers of the two queries ..."
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Cited by 47 (6 self)
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We address the problem of query containment and query equivalence for complex objects. We show that for a certain conjunctive query language for complex objects, query containment and weak query equivalence are decidable. Our results have two consequences. First, when the answers of the two queries are guaranteed not to contain empty sets, then weak equivalence coincides with equivalence, and our result answers partially an open problem about the equivalence of nest; unnest queries for complex objects [GPG90]. Second, we derive an NPcomplete algorithm for checking the equivalence of certain conjunctive queries with grouping and aggregates. Our results rely on a translation of the containment and equivalence conditions for complex objects into novel conditions on conjunctive queries, which we call simulation and strong simulation. These conditions are more complex than containment of conjunctive queries, because they involve arbitrary numbers of quantifier alternations. We prove that c...
Some Properties of Query Languages for Bags
 IN PROCEEDINGS OF 4TH INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP ON DATABASE PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES
, 1993
"... In this paper we study the expressive power of query languages for nested bags. We define the ambient bag language by generalizing the constructs of the relational language of BreazuTannen, Buneman and Wong, which is known to have precisely the power of the nested relational algebra. Relative s ..."
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Cited by 42 (28 self)
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In this paper we study the expressive power of query languages for nested bags. We define the ambient bag language by generalizing the constructs of the relational language of BreazuTannen, Buneman and Wong, which is known to have precisely the power of the nested relational algebra. Relative strength of additional polynomial constructs is studied, and the ambient language endowed with the strongest combination of those constructs is chosen as a candidate for the basic bag language, which is called BQL (Bag Query Language). We prove that achieveing the power of BQL in the relational language amounts to adding simple arithmetic to the latter. We show that BQL has shortcomings of the relational algebra: it can not express recursive queries. In particular, parity test is not definable in BQL. We consider augmenting BQL with powerbag and structural recursion to overcome this deficiency. In contrast to the relational case, where powerset and structural recursion are equivalent...
From Complete to Incomplete Information and Back
 In Proc. SIGMOD
"... Incomplete information arises naturally in numerous data management applications. Recently, several researchers have studied query processing in the context of incomplete information. Most work has combined the syntax of a traditional query language like relational algebra with a nonstandard semanti ..."
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Cited by 37 (11 self)
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Incomplete information arises naturally in numerous data management applications. Recently, several researchers have studied query processing in the context of incomplete information. Most work has combined the syntax of a traditional query language like relational algebra with a nonstandard semantics such as certain or ranked possible answers. There are now also languages with special features to deal with uncertainty. However, to the standards of the data management community, to date no language proposal has been made that can be considered a natural analog to SQL or relational algebra for the case of incomplete information. In this paper we propose such a language, Worldset Algebra, which satisfies the robustness criteria and analogies to relational algebra that we expect. The language supports the contemplation on alternatives and can thus map from a complete database to an incomplete one comprising several possible worlds. We show that Worldset Algebra is conservative over relational algebra in the sense that any query that maps from a complete database to a complete database (a completetocomplete query) is equivalent to a relational algebra query. Moreover, we give an efficient algorithm for effecting this translation. We then study algebraic query optimization of such queries. We argue that query languages with explicit constructs for handling uncertainty allow for the more natural and simple expression of many realworld decision support queries. The results of this paper not only suggest a language for specifying queries in this way, but also allow for their efficient evaluation in any relational database management system.
Comprehension Syntax
 SIGMOD RECORD
, 1994
"... The syntax of comprehensions is very close to the syntax of a number of practical database query languages and is, we believe, a better starting point than firstorder logic for the development of database languages. We give an informal account of a language based on comprehension syntax that deals ..."
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Cited by 24 (4 self)
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The syntax of comprehensions is very close to the syntax of a number of practical database query languages and is, we believe, a better starting point than firstorder logic for the development of database languages. We give an informal account of a language based on comprehension syntax that deals uniformly with a variety of collection types; it also includes pattern matching, variant types and function definition. We show, again informally, how comprehension syntax is a natural fragment of structural recursion, a much more powerful programming paradigm for collection types. We also show that a very small "abstract syntax language" can serve as a basis for the implementation and optimization of comprehension syntax.
Containment of Nested XML Queries
 In VLDB
, 2004
"... Query containment is the most fundamental relationship between a pair of database queries: a query Q is said to be contained in a query Q if the answer for Q is always a subset of the answer for Q , independent of the current state of the database. Query containment is an important problem in ..."
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Cited by 20 (2 self)
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Query containment is the most fundamental relationship between a pair of database queries: a query Q is said to be contained in a query Q if the answer for Q is always a subset of the answer for Q , independent of the current state of the database. Query containment is an important problem in a wide variety of data management applications, including verification of integrity constraints, reasoning about contents of data sources in data integration, semantic caching, verification of knowledge bases, determining queries independent of updates, and most recently, in query reformulation for peer data management systems. Query containment has been studied extensively in the relational context and for XPath queries, but not for XML queries with nesting.