# Re: no names allowed, we serve types only

Date: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 14:01:04 -0800 (PST)

Message-ID: <527b1cc0-1ab8-4f38-b253-8ca645c43d01_at_y33g2000yqb.googlegroups.com>

On 17 feb, 21:00, Tegiri Nenashi <tegirinena..._at_gmail.com> wrote:

> On Feb 17, 11:36 am, Nilone <rea..._at_gmail.com> wrote:

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**> > On Feb 17, 8:51 pm, Tegiri Nenashi <tegirinena..._at_gmail.com> wrote:
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**> > > On Feb 17, 10:14 am, David BL <davi..._at_iinet.net.au> wrote:
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**> > > > On Feb 17, 9:15 pm, Nilone <rea..._at_gmail.com> wrote:
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**> > > > > On Feb 17, 1:29 pm, David BL <davi..._at_iinet.net.au> wrote:
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**> > > > > > Operators can be formalised without a type system too. Simply
**> > > > > > formalise an operator as a function defined on some domain, where a
**> > > > > > domain is merely a set (not a "type").
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**> > > > > Thanks for the introduction, I haven't seen the typeless model
**> > > > > before. I don't see how such a system would handle arithmetic
**> > > > > operators (e.g. + and <) and string operators like concatenation and
**> > > > > search - could you perhaps give an example?
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**> > > > In a typeless system a unary function could for example be formalised
**> > > > as a triple (D,C,G) where D is the domain, C is the co-domain and G is
**> > > > the graph of the function (a subset of DxC). This is typeless in the
**> > > > sense that a function value doesn't formally have any concept of a
**> > > > defined type. Rather the domain and co-domain are formally part of
**> > > > the function's value as a triple (D,C,G). For example two functions
**> > > > can have the same domain and graph but different co-domains. That
**> > > > makes them distinct. This is actually conventional, as when one
**> > > > determines whether a given function is surjective (i.e. its range
**> > > > equals its co-domain). It wouldn't make sense to ask whether a
**> > > > function is surjective if its co-domain isn't part of its value.
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**> > > > Alternatively a typeless system could instead formalise a unary
**> > > > function as a set of pairs (i.e. what we above called its graph). In
**> > > > that case the domain and range is determined from the graph using
**> > > > projection, but there is no concept of a co-domain.
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**> > > > Similarly a typeless system could formalise a relation in two
**> > > > different ways. One allows for attributes to have domains specified
**> > > > independently of the graph (or "body") of the relation, and these
**> > > > domains represent part of the relation's value. That means that two
**> > > > distinct relations can have exactly the same graph.
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**> > > > Alternatively a relation can be identified with its graph. In that
**> > > > case the domains are determined as the projection of each attribute.
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**> > > > In a typeless formalism one is very clear about what it means for two
**> > > > functions or two relations to be equal. It seems to require more
**> > > > effort to understand what equality means in a typed formalism.
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**> > > > In a D&D type system, a value has a MST, but this actually depends on
**> > > > the prevailing type system. E.g. two different databases could use
**> > > > different type systems. Putting it another way, the MST of a value
**> > > > depends on who you ask :-).
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**> > > > D&D want to ensure that equality of values is independent of declared
**> > > > types. That's why they say that a selector for an ellipse value that
**> > > > happens to specify equal width and height actually returns a value
**> > > > which has an MST of circle. It's like a "magic downcast". They point
**> > > > out that OO systems don't normally work that way. E.g. an OO
**> > > > constructor for ellipse never returns a circle.
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**> > > > I think D&D end up treating relations with the same body and attribute
**> > > > names as equal. i.e. in essence the declared attribute domains are
**> > > > not part of the relation's value. I think they define subtyping of
**> > > > relation types accordingly.
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**> > > > It seems to me that D&D spend a lot of effort discussing ideas that
**> > > > are either eliminated or trivialised in a typeless formalism of the
**> > > > RM.
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**> > > Formalization is less of an issue here. I interpret the question as
**> > > how to make a working system operating predicates such as Plus(x,y,z)
**> > > and Concat(x,y,z). Logical programming provides sort of an answer.
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**> > You're right. I'm a programmer rather than a mathematician. As such,
**> > infinite sets can only be approximated and every value has a cost in
**> > space and time. So I'm interested in how operators would be
**> > effectively (and hopefully, efficiently) defined in a software version
**> > of such a model.
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**> > The operators in a typed system are based on inspecting and
**> > manipulation the representation of values. I don't see how anything
**> > similar is possible in an untyped relational model. There's
**> > exhaustively generating all operands and results, which is
**> > impractical. With a successor operator defined (again,
**> > exhaustively?), we can define plus inductively, which would be highly
**> > inefficient. Is there a way to define these operators without
**> > resorting to hidden types or an actor-like model of delegating the
**> > work to the operand?
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**> I'm not sure what hidden types or actor-like model of delegating the
**> work to the operand, and why it is undesirable. Predicates such as
**> "Plus" do have a set of functional dependencies, so why not to allow
**> these dependencies be implemented in procedural language? These could
**> be considered implementation details, pretty much as indexes belonging
**> to physical layer of relational model. This idea is explored in
**>
**> http://vadimtropashko.wordpress.com/relational-programming-with-qbql/...
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You seem to be linking being untyped and representing functions/ operations with predicates. Can I ask why? Would you not agree that one can have one without the other and vice versa?

- Jan Hidders