Geo-relational algebra: A model and query language for geometric database systems

  • Ralf Hartmut Güting
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 333)


The user's conceptual model of a database system for geometric data should be simple and precise: easy to learn and understand, with clearly defined semantics, expressive: allow to express with ease all desired query and data manipulation task, efficiently implementable.

To achieve these goals we propose to extend relational database management systems by integrating geometry at all levels: At the conceptual level, relational algebra is extended to include geometric data types and operators. At the implementation level, the wealth of algorithms and data structures for geometric problems developed in the past decade in the field of Computational Geometry is exploited. — The paper starts from a view of relational algebra as a many-sorted algebra which allows to easily embed geometric data types and operators. A concrete algebra for two-dimensional applications is developed. It can be used as a highly expressive retrieval and data manipulation language for geometric as well as standard data. Finally, geo-relational database systems and their implementation strategy are discussed.


Geometric Object Relational Algebra Mississippi River Relational Database Management System Atomic Object 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  1. [GoTW78]
    Goguen, J.A., J.W. Thatcher, and E.G. Wagner, An Initial Algebra Approach to the Specification, Correctness, and Implementation of Abstract Data Types. In: R. Yeh (ed.), Current Trends in Programming Methodology, Vol. IV, Prentice Hall 1978, 80–149.Google Scholar
  2. [Gü88a]
    Güting, R.H., Geo-Relational Algebra: A Model and Query Language for Geometric Database Systems. In: J.W. Schmidt, S. Ceri, and M. Missikoff (Eds.), Advances in Database Technology — EDBT '88. Proc. of the Intl. Conf. on Extending Database Technology, Venice, March 1988, 506–527.Google Scholar
  3. [Gü88b]
    Güting, R.H., Modelling Non-Standard Database Systems by Many-Sorted Algebras. Universität Dortmund, Fachbereich Informatik, Report 255, 1988.Google Scholar
  4. [GüZC87]
    Güting, R.H., R. Zicari, and D. Choy, An Algebra for Structured Office Documents. IBM Almaden Research Center, San Jose, California, Report RJ 5559, 1987.Google Scholar
  5. [GüZC88]
    Güting, R.H., R. Zicari, and D. Choy, An Algebra for Structured Office Documents. Revised Version November 1987, Universität Dortmund, Fachbereich Informatik, Report 254, 1988.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ralf Hartmut Güting
    • 1
  1. 1.Fachbereich InformatikUniversität DortmundDortmund 50West Germany

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