Encyclopedia of Database Systems

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

Qualitative Temporal Reasoning

  • Paolo TerenzianiEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_287


Nonmetric temporal reasoning; Reasoning with qualitative temporal constraints


Qualitative temporal constraints are nonmetric temporal constraints stating the relative temporal position of facts that happen in time (e.g., fact F1 is before or during fact F2). Different types of qualitative constraints can be defined, depending on whether facts are instantaneous, durative, or repeated. Qualitative temporal reasoning is the process of reasoning with such temporal constraints. Given a set of qualitative temporal constraints, qualitative temporal reasoning can be used for different purposes, including checking their consistency, determining the strictest constraints between pairs of facts (e.g., for query-answering purposes), and pointing out a consistent scenario (i.e., a possible instantiation of all the facts on the timeline in such a way that all temporal constraints are satisfied).

Historical Background

In several domains and/or application areas, temporal...

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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Scienze e Innovazione Tecnologica (DiSIT)Università del Piemonte Orientale “Amedeo Avogadro”AlessandriaItaly

Section editors and affiliations

  • Richard T. Snodgrass
    • 1
  • Christian S. Jensen
    • 2
  1. 1.University of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  2. 2.Aalborg UniversityAalborg ØstDenmark