Extending SPARQL with regular expression patterns (for querying RDF)

Faisal Alkhateeb, Jean-François Baget, Jérôme Euzenat


RDF is a knowledge representation language dedicated to the annotation of resources within the framework of the semantic web. Among the query languages for RDF, SPARQL allows querying RDF through graph patterns, i.e., RDF graphs involving variables. Other languages, inspired by the work in databases, use regular expressions for searching paths in RDF graphs. Each approach can express queries that are out of reach of the other one. Hence, we aim at combining these two approaches. For that purpose, we define a language, called PRDF (for "Path RDF") which extends RDF such that the arcs of a graph can be labeled by regular expression patterns. We provide PRDF with a semantics extending that of RDF, and propose a correct and complete algorithm which, by computing a particular graph homomorphism, decides the consequence between an RDF graph and a PRDF graph. We then define the PSPARQL query language, extending SPARQL with PRDF graph patterns and complying with RDF model theoretic semantics. PRDF thus offers both graph patterns and path expressions. We show that this extension does not increase the computational complexity of SPARQL and, based on the proposed algorithm, we have implemented a correct and complete PSPARQL query engine.

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Type of Paper: Research Paper
Keywords: semantic web; query language; RDF; SPARQL; regular expression patterns;
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