It is over 20 years since the functional data model and functional programming languages were first introduced to the computing community. Although developed by separate research communities, recent work, presented in this book, suggests there is powerful synergy in their integration. As database technology emerges as central to yet more complex and demanding applications in areas such as bioinformatics, national security, criminal investigations and advanced engineering, more sophisticated approaches like that presented here, are needed.
A tutorial introduction by the editors prepares the reader for the chapters that follow, written by leading researchers, including some of the early pioneers. They provide a comprehensive treatment showing how the functional approach provides for modeling, analyzis and optimization in databases, and also data integration and interoperation in heterogeneous environments. Several chapters deal with mathematical results on the transformation of expressions, fundamental to the functional approach. The book also aims to show how the approach relates to the Internet and current work on semistructured data, XML and RDF.
The book presents a comprehensive view of the functional approach to data management, bringing together important material hitherto widely scattered, some new research, and a comprehensive set of references. It will serve as a valuable resource for researchers, faculty and graduate students, as well as those in industry responsible for new systems development.