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Title: On the decidability of semilinearity for semialgebraic sets and its implications for spatial databases
Authors: DUMORTIER, Freddy 
Van Gucht, D
Issue Date: 1999
Abstract: Several authors have suggested using first-order logic over the real numbers to describe spatial database applications. Geometric objects are then described by polynomial inequalities with integer coefficients involving the coordinates of the objects. Such geometric objects are called semialgebraic sets. Similarly, queries are expressed by polynomial inequalities. The query language thus obtained is usually referred to as FO + poly. From a practical point of view, it has been argued that a linear restriction of this so-called polynomial model is more desirable. In the so-called linear model, geometric objects are described by linear inequalities and are called semilinear sets. The language of the queries expressible by linear inequalities is usually referred to as FO + linear. As part of a general study of the feasibility of the linear model, we show in this paper that semilinearity is decidable for semialgebraic sets. In doing so, we point out important subtleties related to the type of the coefficients in the linear inequalities used to describe semilinear sets. An important concept in the development of the paper is regular stratification. We point out the geometric significance, as well as its significance in the context of FO + linear and FO + poly computations. The decidability of semilinearity of semialgebraic sets has an important consequence. It has been shown that it is undecidable whether a query expressible in FO + poly is linear, i.e., maps spatial databases of the linear model into spatial databases of the linear model. It follows now that, despite this negative result; there exists a syntactically definable language precisely expressing the linear queries expressible in FO + poly. (C) 1999 Academic Press.
Notes: Univ Limburg, Dept WNI, B-3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium. Indiana Univ, Dept Comp Sci, Bloomington, IN 47405 USA.Dumortier, F, Univ Limburg, Dept WNI, Univ Campus, B-3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium.
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DOI: 10.1006/jcss.1999.1625
ISI #: 000081227600007
Type: Journal Contribution
Validations: ecoom 2000
Appears in Collections:Research publications

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