A Cookbook for Temporal Conceptual Data Modelling with Description Logics
We design temporal description logics (TDLs) suitable for reasoning about temporal conceptual data models and investigate their computational complexity. Our formalisms are based on DL-Lite logics with three types of concept inclusions (ranging from atomic concept inclusions and disjointness to the full Booleans), as well as cardinality constraints and role inclusions. The logics are interpreted over the Cartesian products of object domains and the flow of time (ℤ, <), satisfying the constant domain assumption. Concept and role inclusions of the TBox hold at all moments of time (globally), and data assertions of the ABox hold at specified moments of time. To express temporal constraints of conceptual data models, the languages are equipped with flexible and rigid roles, standard future and past temporal operators on concepts, and operators “always” and “sometime” on roles. The most expressive of our TDLs (which can capture lifespan cardinalities and either qualitative or quantitative evolution constraints) turns out to be undecidable. However, by omitting some of the temporal operators on concepts/roles or by restricting the form of concept inclusions, we construct logics whose complexity ranges between NLogSpace and PSpace. These positive results are obtained by reduction to various clausal fragments of propositional temporal logic, which opens a way to employ propositional or first-order temporal provers for reasoning about temporal data models.