Where Do We Go From Here?

Rose Gamble, Aarti Pai and Robert Plant

As the field of verification and validation for knowledgebased systems (KBSs) has matured, much information, technology, and theory has become available. Though not all of the problems with respect to KBSs have been solved, many have been identified with solutions that can be used in an analogous manner in situations where the application is not necessarily a traditional KBS. The value of the research that the V&V community has conducted increases substantially as it is shown to be wider reaching than traditional KBSs. In this research note, we apply KBS V&V research to active databases where we show that similar anomalies can occur. The "active" component in an active database (ADB) consists of rules that execute as a result of database accesses and updates. These rules and their inference mechanism can be abstracted from the database to form the rule processing component. We show how the rule structures of various ADB rule processing components can be isolated and converted into a consistent intermediate form similar to a KBS rule. We borrow from verification research in KBSs to detect anomalies that may be present in ADBs. Because the incorporation of active components in databases is becoming standard, this work illustrates the danger these anomalies can pose. Fortunately, tools from KBS verification already exist to aid ADB verification.

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