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Underscore

Expr := "_"

Underscore is a variable without a name. The compiler rewrites it into the relation x: true, which is the infinite relation of all values. After further rewriting, this typically becomes an existentially quantified variable with a unique name. Underscore is mostly useful if you do not care about certain arguments of a relation and want to avoid introducing a named variable and quantifier.

For example:

// Set a unary relation of all orders with a line item.
o: line_item(o, _)
 
// Specify that there does not exist an order for customer `c`.
not(order_customer(_, c))
 
// Count the number of distinct values of a function or relation `f`.
count[f[_]]
 
// Get the second column of a ternary relation `P`.
def Q(x) = P(_, x, _)

You can achieve the same effect by replacing the underscore with Any.

Next: Existential Quantification

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