W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-interest@w3.org > January 2001

XSB prolog's SQL/ODBC interface -- anyone have experience of it?

From: Dan Brickley <danbri@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 2001 16:28:52 -0500 (EST)
To: <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0101291612580.19978-100000@tux.w3.org>

Hi all

I'm hoping someone here might be able to help me out a little. I'm looking
at XSB, a logic programming and deductive database system (see
http://xsb.sourceforge.net/ ), and trying to figure out feasible it might
make use of some of its capabilities in an RDF/SW context.

Specifically, XSB can "out-source" data storage to good old fashioned
relational database tables. Detailed at
http://www.cs.sunysb.edu/~sbprolog/manual2/node90.html and my particular
interest lies in the 'view level' interface documented at:

The basic "relation level" interface in XSB allows you tell tell it that
information about certain predicates is held remotely in an SQL-based
database. The more sophisticated "view level" interface provides for more
efficient use of the SQL store, by rewriting complex expressions into
relatively efficient SQL, rather than slurping much of the data out of the
RDBMS into Prolog before querying it locally.

The view level interface can be used for the definition of rules whose
bodies includes only imported
database predicates (by using the relation level interface) described
above and aggregate predicates
(defined below). When they are invoked, rules are translated into complex
database queries, which
are then executed taking advantage of the query processing ability of the

My question is: this sounds great, how well does it work in practice? One
could imagine using a very similar technique to wrap RDBMS data in an
RDF/SW layer. I've only made the most basic of experiments with XSB (on
Win32 using MS Access), so would love to hear from anyone on RDF IG who
has made a more detailed study. I understand similar facilities are
available for SWI-Prolog, and the technique of course is an idea that
crops up in other contexts. Basically I'm looking for readily deployable
techniques and tools that might  (for example) be used to add RDF smarts
to Intranet applications, and make use of rather than replace existing
data storage and management strategies. The ODBC facilities in XSB have
long intrigued me, so I figured www-rdf-interest might be a good place to
find out if this is a good lead...

thanks for any pointers,


ps. if any listmember is in a position to host student projects (MSc etc)
in this or related areas (eg. RDF visualisation) drop me a note...

Received on Monday, 29 January 2001 16:28:52 UTC

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