Perl TM Tutorial: As Low as it Gets (Part III)

(Followup to part II)

Looking up assertions with match_forall works, but is cumbersome if you just want to find instances, types, subtypes or supertypes of a given toplet.

To experiment with this here, we need some topic map with just a few types, subtypes and some instances for these. Instead of creating them programmatically, we write the map in one of the convenient text notations and let a parser do the job.

For the notation we choose (the old and trusty) AsTMa:

use TM::Materialized::AsTMa;
my $tm = new TM::Materialized::AsTMa (inline => '
sacklpicka (cat)

rho (human)

subclass: human
superclass: mammal

subclass: cat
superclass: mammal


The map features sacklpicka as an instance of cat and rho as an instance of human.

After loading a package supporting the notation, we instantiate our map object $tm. As we are too lazy to store the AsTMa text in a file, we use the option to specify AsTMa code inline. Still, we have to tell the map to read and deserialize the content now:


More about persistent maps later.


As you would expect, sacklpicka will be listed as instance of cat:

use Data::Dumper;
warn Dumper [ $tm->instances ($tm->tids ('cat')) ];

Since mammal does not have any direct instances, the following list will be empty:

warn Dumper [ $tm->instances ($tm->tids ('mammal')) ];

To eventually reach also those instances which are instances of any of mammal's subtype(s), you will have to use the transitive version.

warn Dumper [ $tm->instancesT ($tm->tids ('mammal')) ];

In a similar vein the TM package offers functions to learn about

  • the subclasses, direct and indirect
  • any superclasses, direct and indirect, and
  • any types, also direct and indirect ones.

Boolean Versions

Since such taxonometric functions are pretty important, there is also a set of functions just for boolean tests:

warn "I knew it"
    if $tm->is_a ($tm->tids ('sacklpicka', 'cat'));

warn "Not sure about that"
    unless $tm->is_subclass ($tm->tids ('cat', 'mammal'));

Note how the tids function can accept lists.

Filter Versions

Finally, there are also variants to be used as filters for a certain class:

@cats = $tm->are_instances ($tm->tids ('cat',
                                       'sacklpicka') );

Sadly, at this stage the other filters are_types, are_supertypes and are_subtypes are not yet implemented.

Send more chocolate if you need them. Better than sending patches ...

Work supported by the Austrian Research Centers.

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