Constraint Equations: A Concise Compilable Representation for Quantified Constraints in Semantic Networks

Matthew Morgenstern

Constraint Equations provide a concise declarative language for expressing semantic constraints that require consistency among several relations. The constraints provide a natural addition to semantic networks, as shown by an extension to the KL-ONE/NIKL representation language. The Equations have a more natural and perspicuous structure than the predicate calculus formulas into which they may be translated, and they also have an executable interpretation. Both universal and existential quantifiers are expressible conveniently in Constraint Equations, as are cardinality quantifiers and transitive closure. For a subclass of these constraints, a prototype compiler automatically generates programs which will enforce these constraints and perform the actions needed to reestablish consistency.

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