Visual Query Systems Essay

1250 words - 5 pages

\subsubsection{Comparison Strategy 2}

Not only can we compare these several visual query systems from the perspective of querying process, we may also look at them in view of their usability, i.e. how much can be done with the system? Can the underlying visual query language represent recursive /nested queries? Can the underlying visual query language supported by a system represent queries with negation? Figure~\ref{fig:strategy2} answers these questions by showing the usability of each visual query system.

\caption{Overview of visual query systems with regards to their usability \label{fig:strategy2}}

\subsection{The Graphlog Language}

The language is suitable for querying and visualizing structural data. Graphlog~\cite{graphlog:consens} and Hy+ are developed in University of Toronto under the leader of Mariano P. Consens. Graphlog is the language to support visualizing queries and Hy+ is the system for using Graphlog to pose queries. From the view of posing queries for retrieving data, different degrees of visualization are involved in Structural Query Language(SQL) queries, form-based queries, and graph-looking queries such as in Computer-Aided-Design(CAD). At the current stage, the most scientist-friendly is the graph-looking query environment. Among other researches, the database query language Graphlog and Hy+ query system gives an successful example. The Hy+ system is implemented using the Object-Oriented language Smalltalk.

%A hygraph is a hybrid between Harel’s higraph~\cite{harel:visual} and directed hypergraphs~\cite{berge} (and hence the name); it extends the notion of a graph by incorporating blobs in addition to edges. For completeness, the following is the formal definition of hygraph.

\subsubsection{Fundamental Elements}

\paragraph{Terms and Labels}

Graphlog is such a query language that users can construct queries through drawing pictures under its regulations. As a language, Graphlog elements are term and label of edge or blob.
A term is one of a constant, a variable, an anonymous variable, an aggregate function $f \in \{MAX, MIN, COUNT, SUM, AVG\}$ applied to a variable, a functor \textit{f }applied to a number of terms. An edge label is a path regular expression generated by the following grammar, where $\overline{T}$is a sequence of terms and \textit{p} is a predicate:
E \leftarrow E\left|E\right. ;E.E;-E;(E);E+;E*;p(\overline{T});\neg p(\overline{T})

A path expression can refer to a primitive relation, or construction of a more complex path expression using operators of negation/complement inverse, concatenation, alternation, kleene closure($*$) or transitive closure($+$).

A blob relates a containing node with a set of contained nodes; it replaces all the edges that would otherwise connect the container node of the blob with each of the nodes contained in the...

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