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A Formal Framework of Aggregation for the OLAP-OLTP Model

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  • Mathematics


OLAP applications are widely used in business applications. They are often (implicitly) defined on top of OLTP systems and extensively use aggregation and transformation functions. The main OLAP data structure is a multidimensional table with three kinds of attributes: so-called dimension attributes, implicit attributes given by aggregation functions and fact attributes. Domains of dimension attributes are structured and thus support a variety of aggregations. These aggregations are used to generate new values for the fact attributes. In this paper we systematically develop a theory for OLAP applications. We first define aggregation functions and use these to introduce an OLAP algebra. Based on these foundations we derive properties that guarantee or contradict correctness of OLAP computations. Finally, for pragmatical treatment of OLAP applications the OLTP-OLAP specification frame is introduced.

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