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On the Expressive Power of Datalog: Tools and a Case Study

By P.G. Kolaitis and M.Y. Vardi


AbstractWe study here the language Datalog(≠), which is the query language obtained from Datalog by allowing equalities and inequalities in the bodies of the rules. We view Datalog(≠) as a fragment of an infinitary logic Lω and show that Lω can be characterized in terms of certain two-person pebble games. This characterization provides us with tools for investigating the expressive power of Datalog(≠). As a case study, we classify the expressibility of fixed subgraph homeomorphism queries on directed graphs. S. Fortune, J. Hopcroft, and J. Wyllie (Theoret. Comput. Sci.10 (1980), 111-121) classified the computational complexity of these queries by establishing two dichotomies, which are proper only if P ≠ NP. Without using any complexity-theoretic assumptions, we show here that the two dichotomies are indeed proper in terms of expressibility in Datalog(≠)

Publisher: Academic Press.
Year: 1995
DOI identifier: 10.1006/jcss.1995.1055
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