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Re: Operational definition of SPARQL algebra

From: Lee Feigenbaum <feigenbl@us.ibm.com>
Date: Fri, 20 Oct 2006 10:17:52 -0400
To: RDF Data Access Working Group <public-rdf-dawg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <OF2DEF8D7B.4813C17C-ON8525720D.004E6ED1-8525720D.004E8A75@us.ibm.com>
Andy Seaborne wrote on 10/20/2006 09:18:02 AM:

> 
> This message is an outline for an operational definition of the 
> SPARQL algebra.
> 
> There is advocacy for this change in the working group; this message is 
to 
> check that with everyone; to get early feedback, and to check we 
areagreed on 
> what it means.  The style of approach isn't new - Fred's work embodies 
this 
> style as does the Chilean paper.

On my initial examination, everything here agrees with my recent thoughts 
and understanding, and I'd be happy with it. I think we should name the 
operators the same as the keywords wherever we can (so LeftJoin -> 
Optional, but Join can stay).

Lee

 
> This is not about syntax at this stage.
> 
> == Preliminaries
> 
> BGP matching: this is taken as an input and we assume that any BGP 
matches the
> target graph and generates solutions with every mentioned named query 
variable
> having a binding.  We continue to allows for different entailment 
regimes and
> specifically use with OWL-DL.  There is no assumptions about blank nodes 
and
> mappings (which only affects duplicates).
> 
> The output of a evaluating a BGP is a collection of solutions.
> 
> == Outline
> 
> The SPARQL algebra consists of the following operators for manipulating 
> collections of solutions (type R):
> 
>     Join(R,R) -> R
>     LeftJoin(R,R) -> R
>     Union(R,R) -> R
>     filter(R) -> R
> 
> I have no particular attachment to the choice of operator names.  In 
> particular, calling it "optional", not "left join" might be better,
> 
> Join and left join need to be defined for the SPARQL case because 
> they are not 
> exactly as defined for SQL or in a relational algebra.
> 
> Evaluation of an expression is functional (AKA bottom-up; constructional 

> (Fred's work [1] and as worked out by Jorge et al [2]).
> 
>     UNION is union
>     Filters go at the end of groups conceptually
>       (i.e. after compositional operations).
>     OPTIONAL is left-join.
> 
>     A group is a sequence of the join/left-join the filters of its 
elements.
>       Elements are already evaluated.
>       Evaluation in a group is ordered left to right
>        (left-nested; left-associative).
>       Using {} will change the order of evaluation if required.
> 
> 
> == Some interesting queries:
> 
> Some interesting queries to consider: not problems or show stoppers, 
just 
> interesting.
> 
> {}
> 
> By pure construction, this is could be considered to be empty (no 
> construction).  So inserting it into a pattern would be an operation on 
an 
> empty solution collection resulting in an empty solution.
> 
> Currently, we define it to have one solution with no bindings - we 
should 
> continue to do so.
> 
> 
> { OPTIONAL {...} }
> evaluates as { {} OPTIONAL {...} }  The principle is that every group 
has at
> least the unit table in it or that every group has the unit table onthe 
left 
> hand side.
> 
> 
> { FILTER(expr) } evaluates as { {} FILTER(expr) } which
> means that { FILTER(expr) } does not propagate the filter effect.  This 
is a 
> change from the declarative approach (top-down) where any pattern 
applies the 
> whole solution being considered, not the part being constructed.
> 
> 
> { pattern[?x] OPTIONAL { pattern[!?x] OPTIONAL { pattern[?x] } }
> 
> [?x] means mentions ?x, [!?x] means does not mention ?x.
> Like the filter case above, this is a change from the declarative 
approach.
> Discussed in Jorge's paper and (for example) [3].
> 
> 
> { { P1 FILTER(expr) } P2 }
> evaluates the filter before P2.  Might matter if filter has a
> !bound() in it or relies on a bound variable, and P2 mentions that 
variable 
> and p1 does not.
> 
> 
> == Notes
> 
> The domain of solutions naturally emerges (it happens as a result of the
> definitions) because the constructional nature.
> 
> No need for Chilean proposal 4 for additional restrictions - which I 
feel is
> too strong anyway (example below):
> 
> SELECT *
> {
>      ?x rdf:type skos:Concept .
>      OPTIONAL { ?x skos:prefLabel ?label }
>      OPTIONAL { ?x skos:altLabel  ?label }
> }
> 
> which gets labels in preferred order.
> 
>    Andy
> 
> 
> [1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-rdf-dawg/2006JulSep/0033
> [2] 
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-rdf-dawg-comments/2006Jun/0008
> [3] http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/jena-dev/message/25717?var=0&l=1
> 
> 
> 
Received on Friday, 20 October 2006 14:18:13 GMT

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