, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 93–115 | Cite as

Trajectory Indexing Using Movement Constraints*

  • Dieter PfoserEmail author
  • Christian S. Jensen
Original Article


With the proliferation of mobile computing, the ability to index efficiently the movements of mobile objects becomes important. Objects are typically seen as moving in two-dimensional (x, y) space, which means that their movements across time may be embedded in the three-dimensional (x, y, t) space. Further, the movements are typically represented as trajectories, sequences of connected line segments. In certain cases, movement is restricted; specifically, in this paper, we aim at exploiting that movements occur in transportation networks to reduce the dimensionality of the data. Briefly, the idea is to reduce movements to occur in one spatial dimension. As a consequence, the movement occurs in two-dimensional (x, t) space. The advantages of considering such lower-dimensional trajectories are that the overall size of the data is reduced and that lower-dimensional data is to be indexed. Since off-the-shelf database management systems typically do not offer higher-dimensional indexing, this reduction in dimensionality allows us to use existing DBMSes to store and index trajectories. Moreover, we argue that, given the right circumstances, indexing these dimensionality-reduced trajectories can be more efficient than using a three-dimensional index. A decisive factor here is the fractal dimension of the network—the lower, the more efficient is the proposed approach. This hypothesis is verified by an experimental study that incorporates trajectories stemming from real and synthetic road networks.


spatiotemporal database trajectory indexing movement in networks dimensionality reduction 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Academic Computer Technology InstituteAthensGreece
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceAalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark

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