Encyclopedia of Database Systems

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


  • Torben Bach PedersenEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_884




A cube is a data structure for storing and and analyzing large amounts of multidimensional data, often referred to as On-Line Analytical Processing (OLAP). Data in a cube lives in a space spanned by a number of hierarchical dimensions. A single point in this space is called a cell. A (non-empty) cell contains the values of one or more measures.

Key Points

As an example, a three-dimensional cube for capturing sales may have a Product dimension P, a Time dimension T, and a Store dimension S, capturing the product sold, the time of sale, and the store it was sold in, for each sale, respectively. The cube has two measures: Dollar Sales and ItemSales, capturing the sales price and the number of items sold, respectively. In a cube, the combinations of a dimension value from each dimension define a cellof the cube. The measure value(s), e.g., DollarSales and ItemSales, corresponding to the particular combination of dimension values are then stored stored in the...

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Recommended Reading

  1. 1.
    Gray J, Chaudhuri S, Bosworth A, Layman A, Venkatrao M, Reichart D, Pellow F, Pirahesh H. Data cube: a relational aggregation operator generalizing group-by, cross-tab and sub-totals. Data Mining Knowl Discov. 1997;1(1):29–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Jensen CS, Pedersen TB, Thomsen C. Multidimensional databases and data warehousing. Synthesis lectures on data management. San Rafael: Morgan Claypool; 2010.zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Pedersen TB. Managing complex multidimensional data. In: Aufaure M-A, Zimányi E, editors. Business intelligence – second European summer school, eBISS 2012. Brussels: Springer LNBIB; 2013, 15–21 July 2012, Tutorial Lectures.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Vaisman A, Zimányi E. Data warehouse systems – design and smplementation. Springer; 2014.Google Scholar

Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceAalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark

Section editors and affiliations

  • Torben Bach Pedersen
    • 1
  • Stefano Rizzi
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceAalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark
  2. 2.DISIUniv. of BolognaBolognaItaly