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Constraint Interchange Format (CIF)

The Constraint Interchange Format (CIF)[1] is under development as part of the AKT project, aimed specifically at business-to-business e-commerce applications on the Semantic Web. It has been used successfully in diverse and challenging application domains such as representing and reasoning about protein structures in biomedical applications [2] and configuring telecommunications network services [3]. Earlier versions of the CIF were based on Prolog term structures; there is also a new XML encoding of the CIF, designed to be more open and less platformdependent than its predecessor. The XML-CIF [1] has been modelled using the XML Schema specification, so that constraints become Web resources about which statements can be made (for example, statements about the authorship and context of a constraint). In addition, the CIF has been designed to refer to XML Schema definitions so that the terms referred to in a constraint can have corresponding XML Schema descriptions. The motivation here is to allow, in principle, any application of RDF Schema to use CIF and constraint-solving services.

[1] P. Gray, K. Hui, and A. Preece. An Expressive Constraint Language for Semantic Web Applications. In IJUAI01 Workshop on E-Business 4 the Intelligent Web, pages 46-53, 2001. PDF

[2] Kemp, G.; Robertson, C.; Gray, P.; and Angelopoulos, N. CORBA and XML: Design Choices for Database Federations. In Lings, B., and Jeffery, K., eds., Advances in Databases: Proc. BNCOD17 Conference, 191–208. Springer-Verlag(LNCS1832). 2000.

[3] Fiddian, N. J.; Marti, P.; Pazzaglia, J.-C.; Hui, K.; Preece, A.; Jones, D. M.; and Cui, Z. 1999. A knowledge Processing System for Data Service Network Design. In BT Technical Journal 17(4):117–130.