Automating proofs of integrity constraints in situation calculus

Leopoldo Bertossi, Javier Pinto, Pablo Saez, Deepak Kapur, Mahadevan Subramaniam

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

11 Scopus citations


Automated support for proving integrity constraints (ICs) on deductive database update specifications is developed using an induction theorem prover, Rewrite Rule Laboratory (RRL) [6]. The approach proposed by Reiter [9, 11,-10] for solving the frame problem for such applications in a language of the situation calculus is used as a basic framework. Integrity constraints are propositions that are expected to be true in every accessible state of a database, and they should be provable from the specification of the evolution of the database. Accessible states are defined by induction [12] as those reachable from the initial state by update actions whose execution is possible. Induction theorem provers can only reason about quantifier-free formulas (i.e., universally quantified formulas) whereas in order to express integrity constraints, quantifiers may be used. It is shown that by making use of the fact that in relational data base.applications, domain of objects under consideration is finite, such ICs expressed using quantifiers can be mechanically translated into quantifier-free formulas by introducing new predicates and by explicitly building domains of objects involved in updates. Bridge lemmas connecting the semantics of the new predicates to the fluents used to express integrity constraints can be mechanically generated and automatically proved in RRL. An interesting feature of the proposed approach is that mechanically generated proofs of integrity constraints have a structure similar to manually-generated proofs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFoundations of Intelligent Systems - 9th International Symposium, ISMIS 1996, Proceedings
EditorsZbigniew W. Ras, Maciek Michalewicz
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9783540612865
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes
Event9th International Symposium on Methodologies for Intelligent Systems, ISMIS 1996 - Zakopane, Poland
Duration: Jun 9 1996Jun 13 1996

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other9th International Symposium on Methodologies for Intelligent Systems, ISMIS 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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