A specification language for static, dynamic and deontic integrity constraints

  • John-Jules Meyer
  • Hans Weigand
  • Roel Wieringa
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 364)


In the proof-theoretic view of knowledge bases (KB's), a KB is a set of facts (atomic sentences) and integrity constraints (IC's). An IC is then a sentence which must at least be consistent with the other sentences in the KB. This view obliterates the distinction between, for example, the constraint that age is a non-negative integer (which is true of the universe of discourse (UoD) but may be false in a particular implementation of a KB), and the constraint that a class must have precisely one teacher (which is false of the UoD if a class actually has two teachers). The second constraint is called deontic and constrains the UoD; the first constraint is a necessary truth of the UoD and does not constraint the UoD. Instead, it constrains the implementation of the KB. We show that both types of constraints can be specified in the single framework provided by a deontic variant of dynamic logic, which has the added advantage of being able to specify dynamic constraints as well. We give a non-trivial example of a KB specification with static, dynamic and deontic constraints.

Subject areas

Deductive databases and knowledge-based systems logical fundamentals of database theory 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • John-Jules Meyer
    • 1
  • Hans Weigand
    • 1
  • Roel Wieringa
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mathematics and Computer ScienceVrije UniversiteitAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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