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Proceedings Paper

Causal relations among events and states in dynamic geographical phenomena
Author(s): Zhaoqiang Huang; Xuezhi Feng; Wenling Xuan; Xiuwan Chen
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Paper Abstract

There is only a static state of the real world to be recorded in conventional geographical information systems. However, there is not only static information but also dynamic information in geographical phenomena. So that how to record the dynamic information and reveal the relations among dynamic information is an important issue in a spatio-temporal information system. From an ontological perspective, we can initially divide the spatio-temporal entities in the world into continuants and occurrents. Continuant entities endure through some extended (although possibly very short) interval of time (e.g., houses, roads, cities, and real-estate). Occurrent entities happen and are then gone (e.g., a house repair job, road construction project, urban expansion, real-estate transition). From an information system perspective, continuants and occurrents that have a unique identity in the system are referred to as objects and events, respectively. And the change is represented implicitly by static snapshots in current spatial temporal information systems. In the previous models, the objects can be considered as the fundamental components of the system, and the change is modeled by considering time-varying attributes of these objects. In the spatio-temporal database, the temporal information that is either interval or instant is involved and the underlying data structures and indexes for temporal are considerable investigated. However, there is the absence of explicit ways of considering events, which affect the attributes of objects or the state. So the research issue of this paper focuses on how to model events in conceptual models of dynamic geographical phenomena and how to represent the causal relations among events and the objects or states. Firstly, the paper reviews the conceptual modeling in a temporal GIS by researchers. Secondly, this paper discusses the spatio-temporal entities: objects and events. Thirdly, this paper investigates the causal relations amongst events and states. The qualitative spatiotemporal change is an important issue in the dynamic geographic-scale phenomena. In real estate transition, the events and states are needed to be represented explicitly. In our modeling the evolution of a dynamic system, it can not avoid fetching in the view of causality. The object's transition is represented by the state of object. Event causes the state of objects changing and causes other events happen. Events connect with objects closely. The basic causal relations are the state-event and event-state relationships. Lastly, the paper concludes with the overview about the causal relations amongst events and states. And this future work is pointed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 July 2007
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 6753, Geoinformatics 2007: Geospatial Information Science, 67531J (25 July 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.761865
Show Author Affiliations
Zhaoqiang Huang, Peking Univ. (China)
Xuezhi Feng, Nanjing Univ. (China)
Wenling Xuan, Peking Univ. (China)
Xiuwan Chen, Peking Univ. (China)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6753:
Geoinformatics 2007: Geospatial Information Science

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