Semantic Width of Conjunctive Queries and Constraint Satisfaction Problems

12/11/2018
by   Georg Gottlob, et al.
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Answering Conjunctive Queries (CQs) and solving Constraint Satisfaction Problems (CSPs) are arguably among the most fundamental tasks in Computer Science. They are classical NP-complete problems. Consequently, the search for tractable fragments of these problems has received a lot of research interest over the decades. This research has traditionally progressed along three orthogonal threads. a) Reformulating queries into simpler, equivalent, queries (semantic optimization) b) Bounding answer sizes based on structural properties of the query c) Decomposing the query in such a way that global consistency follows from local consistency. Much progress has been made by various works that connect two of these threads. Bounded answer sizes and decompositions have been shown to be tightly connected through the important notions of fractional hypertree width and, more recently, submodular width. recent papers by Barceló et al. study decompositions up to generalized hypertree width under semantic optimization. In this work, we connect all three of these threads by introducing a general notion of semantic width and investigating semantic versions of fractional hypertree width, adaptive width, submodular width and the fractional cover number.

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