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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A unifying approach for queries and updates in deductive databases

  • Author(s): Wong, Wang-chan
  • et al.

This dissertation presents a unifying approach to process (recursive) queries and updates in a deductive database. To improve query performance, a combined top-down and bottom-up evaluation method is used to compile rules into iterative programs that contain relational algebra operators. This method is based on the lemma resolution that retains previous results to guarantee termination.

Due to locality in database processing, it is desirable to materialize frequently used queries against views of the database. Unfortunately, if updates are allowed, maintaining materialized view tables becomes a major problem. We propose to materialize views incrementally, as queries are being answered. Hence views in our approach are only partially materialized. For such views, we design algorithms to perform updates only when the underlying view tables are actually affected.

We compare our approach to two conventional methods for dealing with views: total materialization and query-modification. The first method materializes the entire view when it is defined while the second recomputes the view on the fly without maintaining any physical view tables. We demonstrate that our approach is a compromise between these two methods and performs better than either one in many situations.

It is also desirable to be able to update views just like updating base tables. However, view updates are inherently ambiguous and the semantics of update propagation on recursively defined views were not well understood in the past. Using dynamic logic programming and lemma resolution, we are able to define the semantics of recursive view updates. These are expressed in the form of update translators specified by the database administrator when the view is defined. To guarantee completeness, we identify a subset of safe update translators. We prove that this subset of translators always terminate and are complete.

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