Query Arrays and Sets with WOQL

In TerminusDB there are a number of collection types, including List, Set, and Array.

While these all generate JSON lists through the document interface, they have different semantics due to their different realisation in the graph.


Sets are the simplest objects in TerminusDB. They are simply edges with the same name that leads to more than one object.

For instance, an example of the document:

{ "@type" : "Class",
  "@id" : "Person",
  "name" : "xsd:string",
  "friends" : { "@type" : "Set", "@class" : "Person" }

To search for the results of friends in WOQL, we can simply use triple.

let v = Vars("id", "friend")
triple(v.id, "friends", v.friend)

If you want to get back the values in a specific order, you can use an order_by clause.


To search a list of objects, you need to traverse the intermediate cons cells. The list is actually a graph structure shaped like:

∘ → ∘ rest→ ∘ rest→ ∘ rest→ rdf:nil
    ↓ first ↓ first ↓ first
    v0      v1      v2

This can be traversed using a path query as follows:

let v = Vars("queue", "person")
path(v.queue, "contacts,rdf:rest*,rdf:first", v.person)


To search an array, you can use select, and group by.

let v = Vars("queue", "arr", "person", "index")
     .select(v.queue, v.person, v.index)
     .and(triple(v.queue, "contacts", v.arr),
          triple(v.arr, "sys:index", v.index),
          triple(v.arr, "sys:value", v.person))

This will give you back the array value (a person) as well as the index in the array, in order.