Abstract and Discrete Modeling of 
Spatio-Temporal Data Types

Martin Erwig (1), Ralf Hartmut Güting (1), Markus Schneider (1), Michalis Vazirgiannis (1+2)
 (1) Praktische Informatik IV, Fernuniversität Hagen, D-58084 Hagen, GERMANY,
{erwig, gueting, markus.schneider}@fernuni-hagen.de
(2) Dept. of Informatics, Athens University of Economics and Business,
Patision 76, 10434 Athens, Greece,
Abstract:  Spatio-temporal databases deal with geometries changing over time. In general, geometries cannot only change in discrete steps, but continuously, and we are talking about moving objects. If only the position in space of an object is relevant, then moving point is a basic abstraction; if also the extent is of interest, then the moving region abstraction captures moving as well as growing or shrinking regions. We propose a new line of research where moving points and moving regions are viewed as three-dimensional (2D space + time) or higher-dimensional entities whose structure and behavior is captured by modeling them as abstract data types. Such types can be  integrated as base (attribute) data types into relational, object-oriented, or other DBMS data models; they can be implemented as data  blades, cartridges, etc. for extensible DBMSs. We expect these spatio-temporal data types to play a similarly fundamental role for  spatio-temporal databases as spatial data types have played for spatial databases. In this paper we consider the need for modeling  spatio-temporal data types on two different levels of abstraction.

Keywords: Spatial, temporal, spatio-temporal, data types, moving objects, moving point, moving region

 Published: 6th ACM Symp. on Geographic Information Systems (ACM GIS '98), 131-136, 1998.