FCA Relation Algebra

Relation Algebra (RA) and Relational Algebra (RLA) provide a foundation for query languages. While RLA is usually used for many-valued tables in relational databases (using SQL), RA is suitable for binary matrices as used in Formal Concept Analysis (FCA). RLA is more expressive than RA, but RA has some interesting features for the use with formal contexts.

I wrote several papers on using RA with FCA (see below). Because several people had questions about these papers, I wrote an Introduction to using Relation Algebra with FCA, which hopefully answers such questions. The FcaFlint software implements these operations. FcaFlint is released as part of FcaStone.

  • Priss, Uta. “Relation Algebra Operations on Formal Contexts”. In: Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Conceptual Structures, ICCS’09, Springer Verlag. (Pdf © Springer-Verlag)
  • Priss, Uta. “The FcaFlint Software for Relation Algebra Operations on FCA Contexts.” In: Conceptual Structures Tool Interoperability Workshop (CS-TIW 2009), Moscow, Russia. (Pdf)
  • Priss, Uta; Old, L. John. “An application of relation algebra to lexical databases.” In: Schaerfe, Hitzler, Ohrstrom (eds.), Conceptual Structures: Inspiration and Application, Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Conceptual Structures, ICCS’06, Springer Verlag, LNAI 4068, 2006, p. 388-400. (Pdf© Springer-Verlag)
  • Priss, Uta. “An FCA interpretation of Relation Algebra.” In: Missaoui; Schmidt (eds.), Formal Concept Analysis: 4th International Conference, ICFCA 2006, Springer Verlag, LNCS 3874, 2006, p. 248-263. (Pdf © Springer-Verlag)
  • Priss, Uta. “Establishing connections between Formal Concept Analysis and Relational Databases.” In: Dau; Mugnier; Stumme (eds.), Common Semantics for Sharing Knowledge: Contributions to ICCS, 2005, p. 132-145. (Pdf)


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