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Domain-independent queries on databases with external functions. (English) Zbl 0893.68053
Summary: We study queries over databases with external functions, from a language-independent perspective. The input and output types of the external functions can be atomic values, flat relations, nested relations, etc. We propose a new notion of data-independence for queries on databases with external functions, which extends naturally the notion of generic queries on relational databases without external functions. In contrast to previous such notions, ours can also be applied to queries expressed in query languages with iterations. Next, we propose two natural notions of computability for queries over databases with external functions, and prove that they are equivalent, under reasonable assumptions. Thus, our definition of computability is robust. Finally, based on this equivalence result, we give examples of complete query languages with external functions. A byproduct of the equivalence result is the fact that relational machines are complete on nested relations: they are known not to be complete on flat relations.

68P15 Database theory
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