Encyclopedia of Database Systems

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

Space-Filling Curves for Query Processing

  • Mohamed F. MokbelEmail author
  • Walid G. Aref
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_350


Distance-preserving mapping; Linearization; Locality-preserving mapping; Multidimensional mapping


Given a query Q, a one-dimensional index structure I (e.g., B-tree), and a set of D-dimensional points, a space-filling curve S is used to map the D-dimensional points into a set of one-dimensional points that can be indexed through I for an efficient execution of query Q. The main idea is that space-filling curves are used as a way of mapping the multidimensional space into the one-dimensional space such that existing one-dimensional query processing and indexing techniques can be applied.

Historical Background

Although space-filling curves were discovered in 1890 [14], their use in query processors has emerged only in the last two decades as it is mainly motivated by the emergence of multidimensional applications. In particular, space-filling curves have been used as a mapping scheme that supports spatial join algorithms [13], spatial access methods [2, 7], efficient...

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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer Science and EngineeringUniversity of Minnesota-Twin CitiesMinneapolisUSA
  2. 2.Purdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

Section editors and affiliations

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