The Database As Model: A Metatheoretic Approach


Konolige, K. (1981). The database as model: A metatheoretic approach. SRI INTERNATIONAL MENLO PARK CA ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE CENTER.


This paper presents a method of formally representing the information that is available to a user of a relational database. The intended application area is deductive question-answering systems that must access an existing relational database. To respond intelligently to user inquiries, such systems must have a more complete representation of the domain of discourse than is generally available in the tuple sets of a relational database. Given this more expressive representation, the problem then arises of how to reconcile the information present in the database with the domain representation, so that database queries can be derived to answer the user’s inquiries. Here we take the formal approach of describing a relational database as the model of a first-order language. Another first-order language, the metalanguage, is used both to represent the domain of discourse, and to describe the relationship of the database to the domain. The formal advantages of this approach are presented and contrasted with other work in the area.

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