Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Database Systems

pp 1-12

Date: Latest Version

Array Databases

Synonyms

Raster databases

Definition

Array (also called raster or grid): a collection of data items sharing the same data type where each item has a coordinate associated which sits at grid points in a rectangular, axis-parallel subset of the Euclidean space Zd for some d > 0 (same as arrays in programming languages).

Array database system: a database system with modeling and query support for multidimensional arrays.

Array query language: a query language allowing declarative retrieval on multidimensional arrays.

Historical Background

Traditionally, all data not tractable with relational tables have been considered “unstructured”; this has long included multidimensional (“n-D”) arrays although these have a very regular structure. Arrays form an important, widespread information structure appearing in virtually all domains and effectively make up for a large part of today’s “Big Data” as spatiotemporal sensor, image, simulation, and statistics data in science, engineering, business, and beyon ...

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