Managing Temporal Data

Managing Temporal Data

Abdullah Uz Tansel (Baruch College – CUNY, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61692-852-0.ch603
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In general, databases store current data. However,the capability to maintain temporal data is a crucial requirement for many organizations and provides the base for organizational intelligence. A temporal database maintains time-varying data, that is, past, present, and future data. In this chapter, we focus on the relational data model and address the subtle issues in modeling and designing temporal databases. A common approach to handle temporal data within the traditional relational databases is the addition of time columns to a relation. Though this appears to be a simple and intuitive solution, it does not address many subtle issues peculiar to temporal data, that is, comparing database states at two different time points, capturing the periods for concurrent events and accessing times beyond these periods, handling multi-valued attributes, coalescing and restructuring temporal data, and so forth, [Gadia 1988, Tansel and Tin 1997]. There is a growing interest in temporal databases. A first book dedicated to temporal databases [Tansel at al 1993] followed by others addressing issues in handling time-varying data [Betini, Jajodia and Wang 1988, Date, Darwen and Lorentzos 2002, Snodgrass 1999].

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