Project summary and approach
The main objective of CHOROCHRONOS is to allow European researchers working on spatial and temporal databases to achieve a higher understanding of each other's work, integrate their results and methodologies, and advance the state of the art in this area through an intensive three-year research program. This will culminate in the design and partial implementation of an architecture for Spatiotemporal Database Systems (STDBMS). The Participants will also cooperate, through intensive workshops, with researchers from other disciplines who are dealing with temporal and spatial information in their research, and would benefit from the development of an STDBMS. This network will stimulate training and mobility of young researchers working in the areas of spatial and temporal databases. The Participants will actively pursue dissemination of results throughout European academic institutions and industry.
The main technical goal of this network is to study the issues involved in the design and implementation of an STDBMS and to propose an STDBMS architecture. To achieve this goal, we propose to carry out the research covered by the following six tasks.
  • Task 1: Ontology, Structure and Representation for Space and Time. CHOROCHRONOS will study temporal and spatial ontologies, their relations and their usefulness in STDBMS. In addition, we would like to consider issues of structure and representation as they have been articulated by temporal and spatial database researchers to achieve their integration in a common framework for analysis.

  • Nodes involved: NTUA, UMIST, POLIMI, TU VIENNA.
  • Task 2: Models and Languages for STDBMS. CHOROCHRONOS will concentrate on three topics: (i) the study of languages for spatiotemporal relations, (ii) the development of models and query languages for spatiotemporal databases and (iii) design techniques for spatiotemporal databases. This work will be based on previous proposals by network nodes; these proposals are mainly based on relational and object-oriented models.

  • Nodes involved: All.
  • Task 3: Graphical User Interfaces for Spatiotemporal Information. Research in this task will have two goals: (i) the integration and extension of the Participants' previous expertise in graphical interface development for temporal and spatial databases, and (ii) the development of better visual interfaces for certain applications.

  • Nodes involved: NTUA, UMIST, INRIA, TU VIENNA.
  • Task 4: Query Processing in Spatiotemporal Databases. The participants will study techniques for the efficient evaluation of queries in STDBMS. These studies are expected to cover a variety of optimization techniques (ranging from algebraic transformations to efficient page/object management).

  • Task 5: Storage Structures and Indexing Techniques for Spatiotemporal Databases. CHOROCHRONOS will compare alternative storage and access structures for spatiotemporal data developed by the project Participants in the past (as well as with proposals by others). This is expected to lead to enhancements to (and implementations of) the most promising of these structures.

  • Nodes involved: NTUA, UNIVAQ, POLIMI, INRIA, AUT, ETHZ
  • Task 6: The Architecture of an STDBMS. The research activity outlined in the above tasks will be carried out with a broader goal in mind: the development of an architecture for an STDBMS. Although all participants of the network will contribute to this development, it is expected that some of them will be more appropriate to lead the effort given their accumulated expertise.

  • Nodes involved: All.

In addition to the above research work, CHOROCHRONOS partners will organize two intensive workshops (during the final two years of the project). These workshops will evaluate the research progress from an interdisciplinary applications perspective. Each workshop will start with a week long symposium, led by about six leading scientists discussing some of the topics outlined in the Agenda document from different (typically non-computer science) perspectives. TU VIENNA has proposed to co-ordinate the organization of these workshops. Finally, thee CHOROCHRONOS partners will organize two or three international workshops on spatiotemporal databases. These will help to interact with researchers from other countries working on similar problems, and disseminate our results to the international community.

To facilitate the dissemination of our research throughout the rest of Europe and the world, we will organize international workshops on spatiotemporal databases as discussed above, set up a WWW server to hold relevant information, papers, reports and software produced by the network, and produce a "CHOROCHRONOS newsletter"' every six months to distribute it to interested individuals and organizations outside the network (particularly industrial). This newsletter will also be made available on the WWW site. Finally we will seek to publish our results in established workshops, conferences and journals.