Publication details

Saarland University Computer Science

A Complete and Recursive Feature Theory

Rolf Backofen, Gert Smolka

Theoretical Computer Science 146(1--2):243-268, July 1995

Various feature descriptions are being employed in logic programming languages and constrained-based grammar formalisms. The common notational primitive of these descriptions are functional attributes called features. The descriptions considered in this paper are the possibly quantified first-order formulae obtained from a signature of binary and unary predicates called features and sorts, respectively. We establish a first-order theory FT by means of three axiom schemes, show its completeness, and construct three elementarily equivalent models. One of the models consists of so-called feature graphs, a data structure common in computational linguistics. The other two models consist of so-called feature trees, a record-like data structure generalizing the trees corresponding to first-order terms. Our completeness proof exhibits a terminating simplification system deciding validity and satisfiability of possibly quantified feature descriptions.

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