Modeling Topological Constraints in Spatial Part-Whole Relationships

  • Rosanne Price
  • Nectaria Tryfona
  • Christian S. Jensen
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2224)


To facilitate development of spatial applications, we investigate the problem of modeling topological constraints in part-whole relationships between spatial objects, where the related objects may themselves be composite. An example would be countries that belong to a supranational organization, where the countries are themselves composed of states. Current topological classification schemes are restricted to simple, bounded, regular, and/or 0-2D spatial data types; do not support the set-based topological constraints required to describe inter-part relationships such as those between members of a supranational organization; and focus primarily on query rather than design. We propose an approach to modeling topological relationships that allows specification of binary and set-based topological constraints on composite spatial objects. This approach does not depend on restricting the type of spatial objects, can be used to describe part-whole and inter-part relationships, and is at a level of detail suitable for use in conceptual modeling.


Spatial Extent Road Segment Spatial Object Topological Relationship Building Site 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rosanne Price
    • 1
  • Nectaria Tryfona
    • 2
  • Christian S. Jensen
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceRMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceAalborg UniversityAalborg ØstDenmark

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