Support of Part-Whole Relations in Query Answering
Part-whole relations are ubiquitous in our world, yet they do not get “first-class” treatment in the data managements systems most commonly used today. One aspect of part-whole relations that is particularly important is that of attribute transitivity. Some attributes of a whole are also attributes of its parts, and vice versa. We propose an extension to a generic entity-centric data model to support part-whole relations and attribute transitivity and provide more meaningful results to certain types of queries as a result. We describe how this model can be implemented using an RDF repository and three approaches to infer the implicit information necessary for query answering that adheres to the semantics of the model. The first approach is a naive implementation and the other two use indexing to improve performance. We evaluate several aspects of our implementations in a series of experimental results that show that the two approaches that use indexing are far superior to the naive approach and exhibit some advantages and disadvantages when compared to each other.
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