Approximate achievability in event databases

Austin Parker*, Gerardo I. Simari, Amy Sliva, V. S. Subrahmanian

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


An event DB is a database about states (of the world) and events (taken by an agent) whose effects are not well understood. Event DBs are omnipresent in the social sciences and may include diverse scenarios from political events and the state of a country to education-related actions and their effects on a school system. We consider the following problem: given an event DB representing historical events (what was the state and what actions were done at various past time points), and given a goal we wish to accomplish, what "change attempts" can the agent make so as to "optimize" the potential achievement of the goal? We define a formal version of this problem and derive results on its complexity. We then present a basic algorithm that provably provides a correct solution to finding an optimal state change attempt, as well as an enhanced algorithm that is built on top of the well known trie data structure and is also provably correct. We show correctness and algorithmic complexity results for both algorithms and report on experiments comparing their performance on synthetic data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSymbolic and Quantitative Approaches to Reasoning with Uncertainty - 11th European Conference, ECSQARU 2011, Proceedings
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
Event11th European Conference on Symbolic and Quantitative Approaches to Reasoning with Uncertainty, ECSQARU 2011 - Belfast, United Kingdom
Duration: Jun 29 2011Jul 1 2011

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume6717 LNAI
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference11th European Conference on Symbolic and Quantitative Approaches to Reasoning with Uncertainty, ECSQARU 2011
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


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