A Tool for Transforming Conceptual Schemas of Spatio-Temporal Databases with Multiple Representation

M. Minout (Belgium), C. Parent (Switzerland), and E. Zimányi (Belgium)


Conceptual Modeling, Spatio-Temporal Databases, Logic Design, Geographic Information Sys tems.


Nowadays, classical conceptual models (such as ER or UML) are used for designing database applications. These classical conceptual models usually come with associated CASE tools assisting the user from the creation of the con ceptual schema until the generation of a physical schema for a relational or an object-relational DBMS. However, when developing spatial or temporal databases such classi cal models are inadequate since they do not consider spatio temporal concepts. Although spatial and/or temporal ex tensions have been proposed for these models, such ex tensions do not cope with the requirements of advanced geographical applications, in particular, they do not cope with multiple representations of the same real-world phe nomenon. In the context of the European project MurMur we developed a conceptual model called MADS coping with spatio-temporal information having multiple represen tations. Typical examples of multiple representation arise with multi-scale or time-varying information. The MADS model is supported by a set of associated tools allowing both the definition of the schema and the queries of the application at a conceptual level. Such conceptual specifi cations are then automatically translated into the language supported by the target GIS and/or DBMS software (e.g., SQL schema definitions or queries for an Oracle database). In this paper we describe a Translator module that allows to implement conceptual MADS schemas into target plat forms. It is composed of a Transformation module that translates conceptual MADS schemas into a more simple schema using only concepts supported by the target soft ware, and a Wrapper module that generates the data struc tures in the language of the GIS and/or DBMS software.

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