The project aims at the specification of a new data management technology explicitly supporting multiple representations and multiple resolutions of spatio-temporal data. This includes the definition of an appropriate data model, a query language, and associated data services. The multi-representation requirements to be addressed by the project will be based on the analysis of two existing applications, a cartographic application and a risk management application. The proposed solutions will be materialised by the development of a software layer (middleware) on top of an existing GIS/DBMS that will be tested and validated against the applications.
Successful information management implies the ability to design accurate representations of the real world of interest to targeted applications. Current systems do not provide representation schemes supporting the diversity of user needs. In the context of interoperability, as in Web access to heterogeneous data sources, they cannot properly integrate the diversity of stored representations. The objective of this proposal is to enhance GIS (or DBMS) functionality so that, relying on more flexible representation schemes, users may easily manage information using multiple representations. The added functionality will support multiple coexisting representations of the same real-word phenomena (semantic flexibility), including representations of geographic data at multiple resolutions (cartographic flexibility). This will in particular make possible a semantically meaningful management of multi-scale, integrated, and temporal geo-databases
While MurMur aims at developing a new generic scheme for multiple representations in data modelling, it focuses in particular on the needs related to geographic data management, a domain of ever-increasing importance for modern societies. As no R&D results are available that analyse multiple representation for both traditional and geographical data, MurMur's program of work pragmatically starts with a detailed analysis of two geodata application frameworks that have different characteristics, hence complementing each other. In parallel, research proposals will be assessed and evaluated, as well as the functionality of the GIS that will be used in the project as a support base for the software layer that will implement MurMur functionality as a CASE tool on op of this GIS. The next step will be to design a data model that responds to the requirements identified in the application analysis. This data model shall be both powerful and simple to use. It shall advance the state of the art and still be implemental on top of existing operational GIS or DBMS models. Data acquisition procedures that map the relevant existing test data to the model constructs shall be defined to lead the way to validation. The following step is the definition of a query formulation interface that will allow users to take advantage of the new functionality of the data model. As for the design of the MurMur data model, the elaboration of the query language will stem from the analysis of application requirements, in this case formulated s a set of typical queries and services needed in our two case studies. Once the definition of the MurMur layer (data model, query language, interfaces and other services) is completed, work may proceed to the implementation phase, including detailed specification of interfaces and development of the tools. Tests and validation by users shall terminate the work. All along the project, dissemination activities shall help in assessing and consolidating the work.
En-route milestones are at completion of:
- requirement analysis (t0+6),
- data model specification (t0+10),
- specification of services (t0+15),
- the schema editor (t0+18) and,
- the query editor implementation (t0+24).
Research results include the formal definition of an enriched data model, and associated manipulation language, allowing the management of real-word objects at different spatial and semantic resolutions. Development result will be a middleware between users and an existing GIS/DBMS.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts