Encyclopedia of Database Systems

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

Probabilistic Temporal Databases

  • V. S. SubrahmanianEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_406


Temporally indeterminate databases; Temporally uncertain databases


There are many applications where the fact that a given event occurred is known, but where there is uncertainty about exactly when that event occurred. Such events are called temporally indeterminate events. Probabilistic temporal databases attempt to store information about events that are both temporally determinate and temporally indeterminate. For the latter, they specify a set of time points (often an interval) – it is known that the event occurred at some time point in this set. The probability that the event occurred at a specific time point is given by a probability distribution or by one of a set of probability distributions.

Historical Background

There is no shortage of events that are known to have certainly occurred, but where the exact dates are not known with certainty. For instance, the exact date of the extinction of dinosaurs is unknown – nor does the historical record show the...
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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

Section editors and affiliations

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