Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Reutter J.L., Vrgoč D. (2017) NavigationalRule-Based Languages for Graph Databases. In: Pan J. et al. (eds) Reasoning Web: Logical Foundation of Knowledge Graph Construction and Query Answering. Reasoning Web 2016. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 9885. Springer, Cham (2017)

Navigational and Rule-Based Languages for Graph Databases

Revista : Reasoning Web: Logical Foundation of Knowledge Graph Construction and Query Answering
Volumen : Capitulo 3
Tipo de publicación : Otros Ir a publicación


One of the key differences between graph and relational databases is that on graphs we are much more interested in navigational queries. As a consequence, graph database systems are specifically engineered to answer these queries efficiently, and there is a wide body of work on query languages that can express complex navigational patterns.The most commonly used way to add navigation into graph queries is to start with a basic pattern matching language and augment it with navigational primitives based on regular expressions. For example, the friend-of-a-friend relationship in a social network is expressed via the primitive (friend)+, which looks for paths of nodes connected via the friend relation. This expression can be then added to graph patterns, allowing us to retrieve, for example, all nodes A, B and C that have a common friend-of-a-friend.But, in order to alleviate some of the drawbacks of isolating navigation in a set of primitives, we have recently witnessed an effort to study languages which integrate navigation and pattern matching in an intrinsic way. A natural candidate to use is Datalog, a well known declarative query language that extends first order logic with recursion, and where pattern matching and recursion can be arbitrarily nested to provide much more expressive navigational queries.In this chapter we review the most common navigational primitives for graphs, and explain how these primitives can be embedded into Datalog. We then show current efforts to restrict Datalog in order to obtain a query language that is both expressive enough to express all these primitives, but at the same time feasible to use in practice. We illustrate how this works both over the base graph model and over the more general RDF format underlying the semantic web.