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Temporal relational data model

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1 Author(s)
A. U. Tansel ; Graduate Center, City Univ. of New York, NY

This paper incorporates a temporal dimension to nested relations. It combines research in temporal databases and nested relations for managing the temporal data in nontraditional database applications. A temporal data value is represented as a temporal atom; a temporal atom consists of two parts: a temporal set and a value. The temporal atom asserts that the value is valid over the time duration represented by its temporal set. The data model allows relations with arbitrary levels of nesting and can represent the histories of objects and their relationships. Temporal relational algebra and calculus languages are formulated and their equivalence is proved. Temporal relational algebra includes operations to manipulate temporal data and to restructure nested temporal relations. Additionally, we define operations to generate a power set of a relation, a set membership test, and a set inclusion test, which are all derived from the other operations of temporal relational algebra. To obtain a concise representation of temporal data (temporal reduction), collapsed versions of the set-theoretic operations are defined. Procedures to express collapsed operations by the regular operations of temporal relational algebra are included. The paper also develops procedures to completely flatten a nested temporal relation into an equivalent 1 NF relation and back to its original form, thus providing a basis for the semantics of the collapsed operations by the traditional operations on 1 NF relations

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering  (Volume:9 ,  Issue: 3 )