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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Models in Temporal Knowledge Representation and Temporal DBMS (90-8)


Geographic information systems will in the future contain data that has a spatial as well as a temporal reference. The National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis has selected the problem of temporal data as the focus of one of its research initiatives. Preliminary work for this research initiative started by developing an overview of the existing literature, gathering the few papers written on temporal GIS topics, and then expanding to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Database literature. We assume that at least some temporal aspects of a GIS with temporal data will be similar to the problems of temporal data in other applications and the results of work done in other areas applicable to GIS. Specifically, we expect the Al research to help us understand the problems of temporal reasoning (how do we draw conclusions from time related facts) and the conceptual representation of temporal data. Al systems typically address problems with a small number of facts or rules. GIS will contain very large amounts of data (especially if one considers the currently discussed databases to monitor "global change") and we, therefore, also need to consider the work done in the database community, where problems of structuring and accessing large collections of temporal data were studied. In this report, we present the results we found in the published literature.

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