Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2018 Edition
| Editors: Ling Liu, M. Tamer Özsu

Telic Distinction in Temporal Databases

  • Vijay KhatriEmail author
  • Richard T. Snodgrass
  • Paolo Terenziani
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_1526


Point- versus period-based semantics


In the context of temporal databases, telic (atelic) data is used to store telic (atelic) facts, and the distinction between telic and atelic data is drawn using the properties of downward and upward inheritance.
  • Downward inheritance. The downward inheritance property implies that one can infer from temporal data d that holds at valid time t (where t is a time period) that d holds in any sub-period (and sub-point) of t.

  • Upward inheritance. The upward inheritance property implies that one can infer from temporal data d that holds at two consecutive or overlapping time periods t1 and t2 that d holds in the union time period t1 ∪t2.

In temporal databases, the semantics of atelic data implies that both downward and upward inheritance holds; on the other hand, neither downward nor upward inheritance holds for telic data.

Historical Background

The distinction between telic and atelic facts dates back to Aristotle’s categories [2] and...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vijay Khatri
    • 1
    Email author
  • Richard T. Snodgrass
    • 2
    • 3
  • Paolo Terenziani
    • 4
  1. 1.Operations and Decision Technologies Department, Kelley School of BusinessIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  3. 3.Dataware VenturesTucsonUSA
  4. 4.Dipartimento di Scienze e Innovazione Tecnologica (DiSIT)Universita’ del Piemonte Orientale “Amedeo Avogadro”AlessandriaItaly