Dimensional Inconsistency Measures and Postulates in Spatio-Temporal Databases

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John Grant
Maria Vanina Martinez
Cristian Molinaro
Francesco Parisi


The problem of managing spatio-temporal data arises in many applications, such as location-based services, environmental monitoring, geographic information systems, and many others. Often spatio-temporal data arising from such applications turn out to be inconsistent, i.e., representing an impossible situation in the real world. Though several inconsistency measures have been proposed to quantify in a principled way inconsistency in propositional knowledge bases, little effort has been done so far on inconsistency measures tailored for the spatio-temporal setting.

In this paper, we define and investigate new measures that are particularly suitable for dealing with inconsistent spatio-temporal information, because they explicitly take into account the spatial and temporal dimensions, as well as the dimension concerning the identifiers of the monitored objects. Specifically, we first define natural measures that look at individual dimensions (time, space, and objects), and then propose measures based on the notion of a repair. We then analyze their behavior w.r.t. common postulates defined for classical propositional knowledge bases, and find that the latter are not suitable for spatio-temporal databases, in that the proposed inconsistency measures do not often satisfy them. In light of this, we argue that also postulates should explicitly take into account the spatial, temporal, and object dimensions and thus define “dimension-aware” counterparts of common postulates, which are indeed often satisfied by the new inconsistency measures. Finally, we study the complexity of the proposed inconsistency measures.

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