Extended update functionality in temporal databases

  • Opher Etzion
  • Avigdor Gal
  • Arie Segev
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 1399)


This paper presents an extended update functionality in temporal databases. In temporal databases, the information is associated with several time dimensions that designate the validity of the information in the application domain as well as the database domain. The complexity of information, coupled with the fact that historical data is being kept in the database, requires the use of an update model that provides the user with high-level abstractions. In this paper we provide an enhanced schema language and an enhanced collection of update operation types that help the system designer and the user to cope with the added complexities of such a model. One of the major issues dealt with in this paper is the situation of simultaneous values of a single data item; this situation occurs when multiple values, valid at the same time, were assigned to a data item at different times over the database history. Unlike the fixed semantics in conventional and existing temporal database models, we provide a flexible mechanism to handle simultaneous values which also distinguishes between regular modifications and error corrections. The extended update functionality is part of an update model that is currently being implemented in a prototype for a simulation project in a hospital's training center. Issues related to the implementation of this functionality in various data models are discussed. In particular, a mapping of the basic primitive operation types to TSQL2, and suggestions for its augmentation are provided.


Temporal databases Database updates Simultaneous values Decision Time TSQL2 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Opher Etzion
    • 1
  • Avigdor Gal
    • 2
  • Arie Segev
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.IBM - Haifa Research LabHaifaIsrael
  2. 2.Department of MSISRutgers UniversityUSA
  3. 3.Haas School of BusinessUniversity of CaliforniaUSA
  4. 4.Information & Computing Sciences DivisionLawrence Berkeley LaboratoryBerkeleyUSA

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