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Abstract Versus Concrete Temporal Query Languages

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Synonyms

Historical query languages

Definition

Temporal query languages are a family of query languages designed to query (and access in general) time-dependent information stored in temporal databases. The languages are commonly defined as extensions of standard query languages for non-temporal databases with temporal features. The additional features reflect the way dependencies of data on time are captured by and represented in the underlying temporal data model.

Historical Background

Most databases store time-varying information. On the other hand, SQL is often the language of choice for developing applications that utilize the information in these databases. Plain SQL, however, does not seem to provide adequate support for temporal applications.

Example. To represent the employment histories of persons, a common relational design would use a schema

$${\rm{Employment}}({\rm{FromDate,ToDate, \,EID, \,Company}}),$$

with the intended meaning that a person identified by EID worked for Company...

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Abstract Versus Concrete Temporal Query Languages. Figure 1

Recommended Reading

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Chomicki, J., Toman, D. (2009). Abstract Versus Concrete Temporal Query Languages. In: LIU, L., ÖZSU, M.T. (eds) Encyclopedia of Database Systems. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-39940-9_1559

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