Delaying Constraint Solving in Symbolic Graph Transformation
Applying an attributed graph transformation rule to a given object graph always implies some kind of constraint solving. In many cases, the given constraints are almost trivial to solve. For instance, this is the case when a rule describes a transformation \(G \Rightarrow H\), where the attributes of H are obtained by some simple computation from the attributes of G. However there are many other cases where the constraints to solve may be not so trivial and, moreover, may have several answers. This is the case, for instance, when the transformation process includes some kind of searching. In the current approaches to attributed graph transformation these constraints must be completely solved when defining the matching of the given transformation rule. This kind of early binding is well-known from other areas of Computer Science to be inadequate. For instance, the solution chosen for the constraints associated to a given transformation step may be not fully adequate, meaning that later, in the search for a better solution, we may need to backtrack this transformation step.
In this paper, based on our previous work on the use of symbolic graphs to deal with different aspects related with attributed graphs, including attributed graph transformation, we present a new approach that allows us to delay constraint solving when doing attributed graph transformation. In particular we show that the approach is sound and complete with respect to standard attributed graph transformation. A running example, where a graph transformation system describes some basic operations of a travel agency, shows the practical interest of the approach.
KeywordsAttributed graph transformation symbolic graph transformation lazy transformation
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