CLASSIC: A structural data model for objects

Alexander Borgida, Ronald J. Brachman, Deborah L. McGuinness, Lori Alperin Resnick

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

14 Scopus citations


CLASSIC is a data model that encourages the description of objects not only in terms of their relations to other known objects, but in terms of a level of intensional structure as well. The CLASSIC language of structured descriptions permits i) partial descriptions of individuals, under an 'open world' assumption, ii) answers to queries either as extensional lists of values or as descriptions that necessarily hold of all possible answers, and iii) an easily extensible schema, which can be accessed uniformly with the data. One of the strengths of the approach is that the same language plays multiple roles in the processes of denning and populating the DB, as well as querying and answering. CLASSIC (for which we have a prototype main-memory implementation) can actively discover new information about objects from several sources: it can recognize new classes under which an object falls based on a description of the object, it can propagate some deductive consequences of DB updates, it has simple procedural recognizers, and it supports a limited form of forward-chaining rules to derive new conclusions about known objects. The kind of language of descriptions and queries presented here provides a new arena for the search for languages that are more expressive than conventional DBMS languages, but for which query processing is still tractable. This space of languages differs from the subsets of predicate calculus hitherto explored by deductive databases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 1989 ACM SIGMOD International Conference on Management of Data, SIGMOD 1989
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)0897913175
StatePublished - Jun 1 1989
Event1989 ACM SIGMOD International Conference on Management of Data, SIGMOD 1989 - Portland, United States
Duration: May 31 1989Jun 2 1989

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM SIGMOD International Conference on Management of Data
VolumePart F130127
ISSN (Print)0730-8078


Other1989 ACM SIGMOD International Conference on Management of Data, SIGMOD 1989
CountryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Information Systems

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'CLASSIC: A structural data model for objects'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this