Re: [unrev-II] William Kent's book "Data & Reality" / Tuplespaces

From: Eric Armstrong (
Date: Sun Jan 23 2000 - 23:38:34 PST

From: Eric Armstrong <>

Paul Fernhout wrote:

> From: Paul Fernhout <>
> William Kent wrote an excellent book around 1978 called "Data &
> Reality".

Unfortunately, the appears not to be available. (Amazon doesn't even
offer to look for it in the used shops -- they used to. Either they've
discarded that feature or this book *really* isn't available. I'll have
to rely on the links you sent.

> Near the end of the book, Kent suggests an abstract model called ROSE
> for Relation, Object, String, and Executeable. [He also calls it STAR
> for Strings, Things, and Relations.]

> One big drawback for the ROSE system is it is so flexible, that the
> integrity of the data rests very heavily on the code that manipulates
> it or which maintains it.

That could be a drawback. I wonder if there is a way around it.

> Let me provide an example ...
> where, "represents", "works-at", and "is-called" are also abstract
> nodes
> like
> node1246 represents "works-at"

This part really got my attention. One of the difficulties in building a
nutritional model with the tools I had available was encoding the
possible relations.

Question: How does one tie an executable to a particular relation so
that it can become a quantifiable part of model? As an example from that
domain (since I'm familiar with it), I'd like to express relationships
like the following:
   (general) The B-vitamins require the B-vitamin folacin for
   (specifics) Vitamin B-1 requires folacin for adsorption.
                    Vitamin B-2 requires folacin for adsorption.
                    ...etc. (naming all the B-vitamins)
   (quantity) For each B-vitamin, amt_absorbed = folacin_amt
   (quantity) FDA-imposed folacin limit = 400 micrograms per supplement
   (model) B-vitamin_amt - folacin_amt => waste_amt

Rather than giving a detailed reply, I guess I'm interested in a summary
statement of how much of the above can be modeled.
   * Can we model the abstract statement with associated specific
   * Can we model the quanitity relationships?
   * Can we turn those quantity relationships into a usable model?

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