# Relations

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We motivate the use of relations, as a way to encapsulate the information previously spreadacross a swath of propositional variables.

## Relations: building a better (representation of) waterworld

So far, we have represented WaterWorld boards using propositions like $\mathrm{A-has-2}$ and $\mathrm{B-unsafe}$ . You've probably already felt that this is unwieldy, having hundredspropositional variables running around,with only our naming convention implying any relation between them.Worse, this zoo of propositions doesn't reflect how we actually think about WaterWorld.For instance, the only way the rules recognize that locations $A$ and $B$ are near each other is because of several axioms which simultaneously involve $\mathrm{A-has-2}$ and $\mathrm{B-unsafe}$ , etc. , in just the right way to result in our idea of the conceptneighbor. In fact, there is no way of talking about the location $A$ directly; we only had propositions which dealt with its properties, such aswhether or not it neighbored exactly two pirates.

If writing a program about WaterWorld, our program should reflect our conception of the problem.However, as it stands, our conception corresponds to having many many Boolean variables named $\mathrm{A-has-2}$ , $\mathrm{B-unsafe}$ , etc. Even worse, the rules would be encodings of the hundreds of axioms. A long enumeration of the axioms is probably not how you think of the rules.In other words, when explaining the game to your friend, you probably sayif a location contains a 2, then two of its neighbors are pirates, rather than droning on for half an hour about howif location $A$ contains a 2, then either location $B$ is unsafe or.

Moreover, the original rules only pertained to a fixed-size board; inventing a new game played on a 5050 grid would require a whole new set of rules!That is clearly not how we humans conceptualize the game!What we want, when discussing the rules, is a generic way to discussing neighboring locations, so thatwe can have one single rule, saying that if a (generic) location has a zero, then any neighboring location is safe.Thus, we allow the exact details ofneighboring locationto change from game to game as we play on different boards(just as which locations contain pirates changes from game to game).

In a program, you'd probably represent the board as a collection (matrix, list, whatever) of Booleans.In our logic, to correspond to this data structure, we'll introduce binary relations .

By including relations (rather than sticking entirely with propositions), we are leaving the realm of propositional logic;we'll soon reach first-order logic once we also introduce quantifiers corresponding to aspects of program control-flow (loops).
We'll start by adding a way to express whether any two locations are adjacent: a relation $\mathrm{nhbr}$ , which will encode the board's geography as follows: $\mathrm{nhbr}(A, B)$ and $\mathrm{nhbr}(Z, Y)$ are true, while $\mathrm{nhbr}(A, D)$ and $\mathrm{nhbr}(M, Z)$ are false.

What, exactly, do we mean byrelation? We'll see momentarily , that we can represent $\mathrm{nhbr}$ as a set of pairs-of-locations (or equivalently, a function which takes in two locations, and returns either true or false.)

This relation " $\mathrm{nhbr}$ " entirely encodes the board's geography. Giving somebody the relation is every bit as good as to showingthem a picture of the board (in some ways, betterthe relation makes it perfectly clear whether two locations which just barely touch at a single point,like $B$ and $G$ , are meant to be considered neighbors.)

We used a binary (two-input) relation to describe neighboring locations.How can we use a relation to capture the notionlocation $A$ is safe?

We'll use a unary (one-input) relation: $\mathrm{safe}$ ( $A$ ) is true if and only if (iff) location $A$ is safe.

After defining relations and discussing their properties, we'll talk about interpreting logic formulas relative to particular relations.

Using relations gives us additional flexibility in modeling our domain, so that our formal logical model more closely corresponds to ourintuition. Relations help separate the WaterWorld domain axioms (code) fromthe data, i.e. , the particular board we're playing on.

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