Spatio-temporal databases deal with geometries changing over time. The goal of our work is to provide a DBMS data model and query language capable of handling such time-dependent geometries, including those changing continuously that describe moving objects . Two fundamental abstractions are moving point and moving region , describing objects for which only the time-dependent position, or position and extent, respectively, are of interest. We propose to present such time-dependent geometries as attribute data types with suitable operations, that is, to provide an abstract data type extension to a DBMS data model and query language. This paper presents a design of such a system of abstract data types. It turns out that besides the main types of interest, moving point and moving region, a relatively large number of auxiliary data types are needed. For example, one needs a line type to represent the projection of a moving point into the plane, or a “moving real” to represent the time-dependent distance of two points. It then becomes crucial to achieve (i) orthogonality in the design of the system, i.e., type constructors can be applied unifomly; (ii) genericity and consistency of operations, i.e., operations range over as many types as possible and behave consistently; and (iii) closure and consistency between structure and operations of nontemporal and related temporal types. Satisfying these goal leads to a simple and expressive system of abstract data types that may be integrated into a query language to yield a powerful language for querying spatio-temporal data, including moving objects. The paper formally defines the types and operations, offers detailed insight into the considerations that went into the design, and exemplifies the use of the abstract data types using SQL. The paper offers a precise and conceptually clean foundation for implementing a spatio-temporal DBMS extension.
Most programs today are written not by professional software developers, but by people with expertise in other domains working towards goals for which they need computational support. For example, a teacher might write a grading spreadsheet to save time grading, or an interaction designer might use an interface builder to test some user interface design ideas. Although these end-user programmers may not have the same goals as professional developers, they do face many of the same software engineering challenges, including understanding their requirements, as well as making decisions about design, reuse, integration, testing, and debugging. This article summarizes and classifies research on these activities, defining the area of End-User Software Engineering (EUSE) and related terminology. The article then discusses empirical research about end-user software engineering activities and the technologies designed to support them. The article also addresses several crosscutting issues in the design of EUSE tools, including the roles of risk, reward, and domain complexity, and self-efficacy in the design of EUSE tools and the potential of educating users about software engineering principles.
The Voronoi diagram is a famous structure of computational geometry. We show that there is a straightforward equivalent in graph theory which can be efficiently computed. In particular, we give two algorithms for the computation of graph Voronoi diagrams, prove a lower bound on the problem, and identify cases where the algorithms presented are optimal. The space requirement of a graph Voronoi diagram is modest, since it needs no more space than does the graph itself. The investigation of graph Voronoi diagrams is motivated by many applications and problems on networks that can be easily solved with their help. This includes the computation of nearest facilities, all nearest neighbors and closest pairs, some kind of collision free moving, and anticenters and closest points. © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Through the use of conditional compilation and related tools, many software projects can be used to generate a huge number of related programs. The problem of typing such variational software is difficult. The brute-force strategy of generating all variants and typing each one individually is: (1) usually infeasible for efficiency reasons and (2) produces results that do not map well to the underlying variational program. Recent research has focused mainly on efficiency and addressed only the problem of type checking. In this work we tackle the more general problem of variational type inference and introduce variational types to represent the result of typing a variational program. We introduce the variational lambda calculus (VLC) as a formal foundation for research on typing variational programs. We define a type system for VLC in which VLC expressions are mapped to correspondingly variational types. We show that the type system is correct by proving that the typing of expressions is preserved over the process of variation elimination, which eventually results in a plain lambda calculus expression and its corresponding type. We identify a set of equivalence rules for variational types and prove that the type unification problem modulo these equivalence rules is unitary and decidable; we also present a sound and complete unification algorithm. Based on the unification algorithm, the variational type inference algorithm is an extension of algorithm W . We show that it is sound and complete and computes principal types. We also consider the extension of VLC with sum types, a necessary feature for supporting variational data types, and demonstrate that the previous theoretical results also hold under this extension. Finally, we characterize the complexity of variational type inference and demonstrate the efficiency gains over the brute-force strategy.
Spreadsheets are widely used, and studies have shown that most end-user spreadsheets contain non-trivial errors. Most of the currently available tools that try to mitigate this problem require varying levels of user intervention. This paper presents a system, called UCheck, that detects errors in spreadsheets automatically. UCheck carries out automatic header and unit inference, and reports unit errors to the users. UCheck is based on two static analyses phases that infer header and unit information for all cells in a spreadsheet.We have tested UCheck on a wide variety of spreadsheets and found that it works accurately and reliably. The system was also used in a continuing education course for high school teachers, conducted through Oregon State University, aimed at making the participants aware of the need for quality control in the creation of spreadsheets.
AbstractÐThis paper investigates temporal changes of topological relationships and thereby integrates two important research areas: First, two-dimensional topological relationships that have been investigated quite intensively and, second, the change of spatial information over time. We investigate spatio-temporal predicates, which describe developments of well-known spatial topological relationships. A framework is developed in which spatio-temporal predicates can be obtained by temporal aggregation of elementary spatial predicates and sequential composition. We compare our framework with two other possible approaches: one is based on the observation that spatio-temporal objects correspond to three-dimensional spatial objects for which existing topological predicates can be exploited. The other approach is to consider possible transitions between spatial configurations. These considerations help to identify a canonical set of spatio-temporal predicates.Index TermsÐTime in geographic information, spatio-temporal data types, representation of spatio-temporal objects, changes of spatial predicates, developments of spatial objects.
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