Computing with infinitary logic

  • Serge Abiteboul
  • Moshe Vardi
  • Victor Vianu
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 646)


Most recursive extensions of relational calculus converge around two central classes of queries: fixpoint and while. Infinitary logic (with finitely many variables) is a very powerful extension of these languages which provides an elegant unifying formalism for a wide variety of query languages. However, neither the syntax nor the semantics of infinitary logic are effective, and its connection to practical query languages has been largely unexplored. We relate infinitary logic to another powerful extension of fixpoint and while, called relational machine, which highlights the computational style of these languages. Relational machines capture the kind of computation occurring when a query language is embedded in a host programming language, as in C+SQL. The main result of this paper is that relational machines correspond to the natural effective fragment of infinitary logic. Other well-known query languages are related to infinitary logic using syntactic restrictions formulated in language-theoretic terms. For example, it is shown that while corresponds to infinitary logic formulas which can be described by a regular language. As a side effect to these results, we obtain interesting normal forms for infinitary logic formulas.


Query Language Expressive Power Regular Language Monotonic Formula Relational Machine 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Serge Abiteboul
    • 1
  • Moshe Vardi
    • 2
  • Victor Vianu
    • 3
  1. 1.INRIALe Chesnay CedexFrance
  2. 2.IBM Almaden Research CenterSan JoseUSA
  3. 3.CSE C-0114UC San DiegoLa JollaUSA

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