Inderscience Publishers

Addressing the frame and qualification problems in temporal databases

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Reasoning about action and change has been one of the main research themes of knowledge representation and planning communities over the last 15 years. Action theories providing an axiomatic basis for managing change are applicable to a wide area of disciplines including software engineering, (cognitive) robotics and data/knowledge base systems. In this paper, firstly, we review action theories proposed for reasoning about the dynamics of database systems. We examine how these theories deal with the two infamous problems associated with this area, namely: a) the frame problem, which refers to the identification of predicates or functions that remain unchanged as a result of action execution; b) the qualification problem, which refers to determining the preconditions which must hold prior to the execution of an action. We briefly describe the solutions which have been proposed for these problems and position these problems in a temporal database context. We also introduce a solution for the frame and qualification problems in the temporal databases based on the language of situation calculus.

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