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Quotients and Merging

Computing the quotient of a set by an equivalence relation (a so-called tuple merge) is a common data integration operation that is unwieldly in SQL but is easy in CQL, as we demonstrate below (built-in to the IDE with example name Quotient).

The example defines a source schema about people and who likes whom and a target schema with a single entity representing groups connected by liking. There is a single schema mapping from the source to the target, and CQL's sigma operation along this mapping computes the connected groups.

We start by defining a source schema for people and who likes whom. For brevity, we do not define any types (String, Integer, etc) and use the empty typeside:

typeside Ty = empty

schema Likes = literal : Ty {
	entities
		Like 
		Person
	foreign_keys
		likee : Like -> Person
		liker : Like -> Person
}


Here is some sample data, taken from a popular TV show:

instance SimpsonsLikes = literal : Likes {
	generators
		Ned Maud Rodd Todd MrBurns Smithers : Person
		l1 l2 l3 l4 : Like
	equations
		l1.liker = Ned  l1.likee = Maud
		l2.liker = Maud l2.likee = Rodd
		l3.liker = Rodd l3.likee = Todd
		
		l4.liker = Smithers l4.likee = MrBurns
}

quotient1

Our goal is to group together all the people who are transitively connected by liking. The target schema contains a single entity called Connection:

schema Connections = literal : Ty {
	entities
		Connection 
}


Next, we define a schema mapping (in fact, the only mapping possible) from Likes to Connections:

mapping FindConnections = literal : Likes -> Connections {
	entities
		Person -> Connection
		Like   -> Connection
	foreign_keys
		likee  -> Connection
		liker  -> Connection	
}


To find the connected groups, we use CQL's sigma operation:

instance SimpsonsConnections = sigma FindConnections SimpsonsLikes


The IDE reports that there are two groups, each of which is named by a particular representative of the group:

quotient2

To determine which group a person is in, we use CQL's unit operation:

transform whichConnection = unit FindConnections SimpsonsLikes

quotient3

A screen shot of the entire development is shown below:

quotient4