Using the Entity-Attribute-Value Model for OLAP Cube Construction

  • Peter Thanisch
  • Tapio Niemi
  • Marko Niinimaki
  • Jyrki Nummenmaa
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP, volume 90)


When utilising multidimensional OLAP (On-Line Analytic Processing) analysis models in Business Intelligence analysis, it is common that the users need to add new, unanticipated dimensions to the OLAP cube. In a conventional implementation, this would imply frequent re-designs of the cube’s dimensions. We present an alternative method for the addition of new dimensions. Interestingly, the same design method can also be used to import EAV (Entity-Attribute-Value) tables into a cube. EAV tables have earlier been used to represent extremely sparse data in applications such as biomedical databases. Though space-efficient, EAV-representation can be awkward to query.

Our EAV-to-OLAP cube methodology has an advantage of managing many-to-many relationships in a natural manner. Simple theoretical analysis shows that the methodology is efficient in space consumption. We demonstrate the efficiency of our approach in terms of the speed of OLAP cube re-processing when importing EAV-style data, comparing the performance of our cube design method with the performance of the conventional cube design.


OLAP dimensions EAV 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Thanisch
    • 1
  • Tapio Niemi
    • 2
  • Marko Niinimaki
    • 2
  • Jyrki Nummenmaa
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer SciencesUniversity of TampereFinland
  2. 2.Helsinki Institute of Physics, Technology ProgrammeCERNGeneva 23Switzerland

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