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A triangle-based logic for affine-invariant querying of spatial and spatio-temporal data

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In spatial databases, incompatibilities often arise due to different choices of origin or unit of measurement (e.g., centimeters versus inches). By representing and querying the data in an affine-invariant manner, we can avoid these incompatibilities. In practice, spatial (resp., spatio-temporal) data is often represented as a finite union of triangles (resp., moving triangles). As two arbitrary triangles are equal up to a unique affinity of the plane, they seem perfect candidates as basic units for an affine-invariant query language. We propose a so-called "triangle logic", a query language that is affine-generic and has triangles as basic elements. We show that this language has the same expressive power as the affine-generic fragment of first-order logic over the reals on triangle databases. We illustrate that the proposed language is simple and intuitive. It can also serve as a first step towards a "moving-triangle logic" for spatio-temporal data.

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