Relational reasoning is concerned with relations over an unspecified domain of discourse. Two limitations to which it is customarily subject are: only dyadic relations are taken into account; all formulas are equations, having the same expressive power as first-order sentences in three variables. The relational formalism inherits from the Peirce-Schröder tradition, through contributions of Tarski and many others. Algebraic manipulation of relational expressions (equations in particular) is much less natural than developing inferences in first-order logic; it may in fact appear to be overly machine-oriented for direct hand-based exploitation. The situation radically changes when one resorts to a convenient representation of relations based on labeled graphs. The paper provides details of this representation, which abstracts w.r.t. inessential features of expressions. Formal techniques illustrating three uses of the graph representation of relations are discussed: one technique deals with translating first-order specifications into the calculus of relations; another one, with inferring equalities within this calculus with the aid of convenient diagram-rewriting rules; a third one with checking, in the specialized framework of set theory, the definability of particular set operations. Examples of use of these techniques are produced; moreover, a promising approach to mechanization of graphical relational reasoning is outlined.
I documenti in ARCA sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.