Uncertain Spatial Data Management:An Overview

by   Andreas Zuefle, et al.

Both the current trends in technology such as smartphones, general mobile devices, stationary sensors, and satellites as well as a new user mentality of using this technology to voluntarily share enriched location information produces a flood of geo-spatial and geo-spatiotemporal data. This data flood provides tremendous potential for discovering new and useful knowledge. But in addition to the fact that measurements are imprecise, spatial data is often interpolated between discrete observations. To reduce communication and bandwidth utilization, data is often subjected to a reduction, thereby eliminating some of the known/recorded values. These issues introduce the notion of uncertainty in spatial data management, an aspect raising the imminent need for scalable and flexible solutions. The main scope of this chapter is to survey existing techniques for managing, querying, and mining uncertain spatial data. First, this chapter surveys common data representations for uncertain data, explains the commonly used possible worlds semantics to interpret an uncertain database, and surveys existing system to process uncertain data. Then, this chapter defines the notion of probabilistic result semantics to distinguish the task of computing individual object probabilities versus computing entire result probabilities. This is important, as, for many queries, the problem of computing object-level probabilities can be solved efficiently, whereas result-level probabilities are hard to compute. Finally, this chapter introduces a novel paradigm to efficiently answer any kind of query on uncertain data: the Paradigm of Equivalent Worlds, which groups the exponential set of possible database worlds into a polynomial number of sets of equivalent worlds that can be processed efficiently. Examples and use-cases of querying uncertain spatial data are provided using the example of uncertain range queries.


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