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TEACH DATASUMM (Extracts from POPSUMMARY) by Aaron Sloman and Max Clowes
                                             Prepared by SDI, April,1982

DATABASE is a collective name for a set of ideas about how to use  lists
to  store  'propositions',  or  'facts'.  This  is  often  a  convenient
technique to use in programs which build descriptions of 'micro worlds'.

This handout introduces the following procedures:

        ADD and ALLADD, which add 'facts' to the database
        REMOVE, ALLREMOVE and FLUSH which remove facts
        PRESENT which checks if a fact is in the database
        LOOKUP which also accesses the database

and the looping construct:

        FOREACH which performs an action for each fact of a given kind.

To use the database procedures  you have to know  a bit about the  POP11
MATCH facility (see, e.g. TEACH MATCHES).

--- Adding and Removing DATABASE items ---------------------------------

We can build up a DATABASE using ADD:

    vars database;
    [] -> database;
    add ([a]);
    add ([b]);

or more concisely using ALLADD:


The items will be ordered in the DATABASE consistently with the order in
which they were added.

    database =>
    ** [[d][c][b][a]]

That is the  last shall  be first!  This is not  a property  of ADD  and
ALLADD that applications of the DATABASE would normally exploit.

Complementing ADD and ALLADD we have REMOVE and ALLREMOVE.

    remove([c]); database =>
    ** [[d][b][a]]

The order of items in a call of ALLREMOVE is not important i.e. it  does
not need to reflect the ordering of the DATABASE

    allremove([[a][b][d]]); database =>
    ** []

The procedure REMOVE  will remove at  most one item  from the  database,
even if it is given a pattern which matches several. Thus  REMOVE([==]);
instead of removing everything, removes just one item. Moreover,  REMOVE
will generate a MISHAP if it doesn't find one item to remove. Similarly,
ALLREMOVE will generate a mishap if it can't remove something for  every
element of the list of patterns given to it as argument.

The procedure  FLUSH  is  provided  without  these  restrictions.  FLUSH
deletes everything in  the database  that matches its  argument, but  if
there is nothing that matches, then FLUSH does nothing.

The argument given to  FLUSH is a pattern  specification, that is  FLUSH
carries out a MATCH to determine the list items that it will DELETE.  It
is however very powerful in its  action ... it removes ALL the  matching
DATABASE entries. Thus with the DATABASE [[D]][C][B][A]] the action


clears the DATABASE.

    database =>
    ** []

Thus FLUSH([=]); is equivalent in this situation to


Whenever the database contains only one-element lists


will remove them all.  Similarly


will empty  the database  no matter  what  is in  it, and  is  therefore
equivalent to

    [] -> database;

What was removed?

After using FLUSH  or REMOVE  the variable IT  will hold  the item  last
removed. E.g.,

    add([dogs like meat]);
    remove([dogs like == ]);
    it =>
    ** [dogs like meat]

The procedure ALLREMOVE, uses the variable THEM instead. This will  be a
list of all  the items removed.  Similarly, ADD updates  IT, and  ALLADD
records things in THEM.

Finding items in the DATABASE

Perhaps the  most  commonly  used procedure  is  PRESENT  which  takes a
pattern and starts MATCHing it against every database item. If the match
is ever successful then  the item is returned  as the result of  PRESENT
otherwise the result is false.

    alladd([ [a b c d] [d c b a] [a b d c] ]);
    present([== b ==]) =>
    ** [a b d c]
    present ([== b c]) =>
    ** <false>

Notice that PRESENT finds the 'first' matching item.

PRESENT is frequently employed in a conditional e.g.

    if present(<pattern specification>) then

The 'IF... THEN' construction 'uses up' the value
returned before THEN ie. try

    if present([== b ==]) then

This arises because POP11 treats  the value returned by PRESENT  between
"IF" and "THEN" as <TRUE> or <FALSE>. For many purposes however we  will
need to know what the matched item is; for example to use it in the THEN
branch of the conditional. For this purpose the DATABASE variable IT  is
set to  have  the  value  of  the  matching  item,  when  PRESENT  finds

    if present([== b ==]) then
        it =>
    ** [a b c d]

Which is  of course  the MATCHed  item that  PRESENT found.  REMOVE  has
however REMOVEd it -

    database =>
    ** [[d c b a][a b c d]]

Note that it found only one item, matching the pattern, and removed  it.
FOREACH, explained  below,  shows  how  you can  search  for  all  items
matching some pattern.

--- Retrieving Values from within an ITEM ------------------------------

Since all of the apparatus of MATCH is utilised in DATABASE  procedures,
PRESENT can be used to set values of appropriately queried variables  in
the pattern specification.

    vars x;
    present([?x b ==]) =>
    ** [a b c d]
    x =>
    ** a

Notice that if "?" or "??" is used before a word in a pattern, then that
word should be declared as a  variable name. Hence the "VARS X;"  above.
If the  variables in  patterns are  not  declared to  be local,  to  the
procedures which use them, then different procedures can mess each other
up. This applies to  procedures which use MATCH  or any of the  database

We do not always want the matching item. Sometimes we will know that the
item is present in the DATABASE and want only the value of some fragment
of it. For this  purpose the procedure LOOKUP  is provided. It does  not
return <TRUE> or <FALSE>  but merely sets the  value of queried  pattern
variables when a match is found.

    lookup([?x b ==]);
    x =>
    ** a

In the event of no match being found an error will result

    lookup([?x == c]);
    ;;; INVOLVING : [?X == C]

--- Retrieving all the items PRESENT which match a pattern -------------

There will often be  a need to  find not just one  matching item in  the
DATABASE, (or to set the value of queried pattern variable for just  one
matching item) but  to find all  of them. For  this purpose the  looping
construct FOREACH is provided:

    foreach [== b ==] do
        it =>
    ** [d c b a]
    ** [a b c d]

Note that  FOREACH  is a  'syntax'  word  (like IF  and  DEFINE),  not a
procedure name, and  hence the pattern  specification that follows  need
not be enclosed in round brackets '(' ')'.

--- Checking a set of patterns against the database --------------------

Just as ALLADD and ALLREMOVE can be  given a list of patterns to add  or
remove, similarly, ALLPRESENT can  be given a list  of patterns to  look
for in the database. If it finds items for all of them it returns a list
of the found items (and also assigns it to the variable THEM). Otherwise
its result is false. E.g. to find a grandson of TOM:

    alladd([[dick father harry][tom father jack]
        [bill father tom][jack father dick]]);
    vars x y;
    if allpresent([[tom father ?x][?x father ?y]]) THEN
        y =>
    ** dick
    them =>
    ** [[tom father jack][jack father dick]]

For more information on the database procedures type:

    HELP * ADD

--- C.all/teach/datasumm -----------------------------------------------
--- Copyright University of Sussex 1988. All rights reserved. ----------