Encyclopedia of Database Systems

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

R-Tree (and Family)

  • Apostolos N. PapadopoulosEmail author
  • Antonio CorralEmail author
  • Alexandros Nanopoulos
  • Yannis Theodoridis
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_300


The R-tree is an indexing scheme that has been originally proposed towards organizing spatial objects such as points, rectangles and polygons. It is a hierarchical data structure suitable to index objects in secondary storage (disk) as well as in main memory. The R-tree has been extensively used by researchers to offer efficient processing of queries in multi-dimensional data sets. Queries such as range, nearest-neighbor and spatial joins are supported efficiently leading to considerable decrease in computational and I/O time in comparison to previous approaches. The R-tree is capable of handling diverse types of objects, by using approximations. This means that an object is approximated by its minimum bounding rectangle (MBR) towards providing an efficient filtering step. Objects that survive the filtering step are inspected further for relevance in the refinement step. The advantages of the structure, its simplicity as well as its resemblance to the B+-tree “persuaded”...

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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Aristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece
  2. 2.University of AlmeriaAlmeriaSpain
  3. 3.Aristotle UniversityThessalonikiGreece
  4. 4.University of PiraeusPiraeusGreece

Section editors and affiliations

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