Encyclopedia of Database Systems

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

Quadtrees (and Family)

  • Michael VassilakopoulosEmail author
  • Theodoros Tzouramanis
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_286


Hierarchical regular-decomposition structures; Hierarchical spatial indexes; Quadtree variations


In general, the term quadtree refers to a class of representations of geometric entities (such as points, line segments, polygons, regions) in a space of two (or more) dimensions that recursively decompose the space containing these entities into blocks until the data in each block satisfy some condition (with respect, for example, to the block size, the number of block entities, the characteristics of the block entities, etc.).

In a more restricted sense, the term quadtree (octree) refers to a tree data structure in which each internal node has four (eight) children and is used for the representation of geometric entities in a two (three) dimensional space. The root of the tree represents the whole space/region. Each child of a node represents a subregion of the subregion of its parent. The subregions of the siblings constitute a partition of the parent’s regions.


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Vassilakopoulos
    • 1
    Email author
  • Theodoros Tzouramanis
    • 2
  1. 1.University of ThessalyVolosGreece
  2. 2.University of the AegeanSamosGreece

Section editors and affiliations

  • Dimitris Papadias
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Computer Science and Eng.Hong Kong Univ. of Science and TechnologyKowloonHong Kong SAR