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Absolute Time

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Definition

A temporal database contains time-referenced, or timestamped, facts. A time reference in such a database is absolute if its value is independent of the context, including the current time, now.

Key Points

An example is “Mary’s salary was raised on March 30, 2007.” The fact here is that Mary’s salary was raised. The absolute time reference is March 30, 2007, which is a time instant at the granularity of day.

Another example is “Mary’s monthly salary was $ 15,000 from January 1, 2006 to November 30, 2007.” In this example, the absolute time reference is the time period [January 1, 2006 − November 30, 2007].

Absolute time can be contrasted with relative time.

Cross-references

Now in Temporal Databases

Relative Time

Time Instant

Time Period

Temporal Database

Temporal Granularity

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Recommended Reading

  1. Bettini C., Dyreson C.E., Evans W.S., Snodgrass R.T., and Wang X.S. A glossary of time granularity concepts. In Temporal Databases: Research and Practice. S. Jajodia, O. Etzion, S. Sripada (eds.). Springer, 1998, pp. 406–413.LNCS, vol. 1399.

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  2. Jensen C.S. and Dyreson C.E. (eds.). A consensus glossary of temporal database concepts – February 1998 version. In Temporal Databases: Research and Practice, O. Etzion, S. Jajodia, S. Sripada (eds.). LNCS, vol. 1399. Springer, 1998, pp. 367–405.

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© 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC

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Jensen, C.S., Snodgrass, R.T. (2009). Absolute Time. In: LIU, L., ÖZSU, M.T. (eds) Encyclopedia of Database Systems. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-39940-9_1407

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