Thing, Node, Sequence & Element

Background: Terminology
Related: System Data, Names, Views, Hierarchy, Create a Sequence, Delete a Sequence

Things, Nodes, Elements:
DBD defines a thing to be anything that has elements {which themselves are also things}. DBD represents/models/stores things by creating nodes and linking them to existing nodes in the database. For example, john, like and mary are represented by creating a network of nodes that link to existing nodes for symbols.

Sequences, Sentences and Relationships:
DBD represents a sequence of things by creating a node that is linked to existing nodes. For example, the sequence (john like mary) is represented creating a node that is linked to john, like and mary. While a sequence can have two or more elements, frequently it will have three. Some sequences will be referred to as sentences or relationships.

Classification of Sequence Elements:
The first five sequence elements are typically classified as Subject-Verb-Object-Preposition-ObjectOfPreposition. The first three sequence elements can also be classified as Entity-Attribute-Value or Object-Property-Value. In DBD, the term relator will be used as a more general form of the terms verb, attribute and property.

Dual Roles of a Node:
Just as a person can be a child with respect to his parents while simultaneously being a parent with respect to his children; in DBD, a node can be a sequence with respect to its elements while simultaneously being an element with respect to other sequences. For example, the node representing the sequence (john like mary) can be an element of the sequence ((bob like mary) because (john like mary)). See examples "Complex Sentences" and "John, Mary and R2D2".

Atomic Node:
Within DBD, a node is atomic if it is does not have any elements. For example, nodes john, like, mary are atomic; while the node (john like mary) is not atomic.

Notes:
To conserve memory, sequences share common initial sequences. Thus (john like mary) and (john like sue) share (john like). In the API, sequence elements are named subject, verb and object. To create a sequence, use N_SVO_set(). Conversely, given a sequence, use N_SVO_getS(), N_SVO_getV() and N_SVO_getO() to get respective elements of a sequence.


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