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Reconciling Point-Based and Interval-Based Semantics in Temporal Relational Databases: A Treatment of the Telic/Atelic Distinction
May 2004 (vol. 16 no. 5)
pp. 540-551

Abstract—The analysis of the semantics of temporal data and queries plays a central role in the area of temporal databases. Although many different algebræ and models have been proposed, almost all of them are based on a point-based (snapshot) semantics for data. On the other hand, in the areas of linguistics, philosophy, and, recently, artificial intelligence, an oft-debated issue concerns the use of an interval-based versus a point-based semantics. In this paper, we first show some problems inherent in the adoption of a point-based semantics for data, then argue that these problems arise because there is no distinction drawn in the data between telic and atelic facts. We then introduce a three-sorted temporal model and algebra including coercion functions for transforming relations of one sort into relations of the other at query time which properly copes with these issues.

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Index Terms:
Temporal databases, database semantics, data models.
Citation:
Paolo Terenziani, Richard T. Snodgrass, "Reconciling Point-Based and Interval-Based Semantics in Temporal Relational Databases: A Treatment of the Telic/Atelic Distinction," IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering, vol. 16, no. 5, pp. 540-551, May 2004, doi:10.1109/TKDE.2004.1277816
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