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Schiwietz, Michael and Kriegel, Hans-Peter (1993): Query processing of spatial objects: Complexity versus Redundancy. Advance in Spatial Databases. Berlin: Springer. pp. 377-396 [PDF, 3MB]

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The management of complex spatial objects in applications, such as geography and cartography, imposes stringent new requirements on spatial database systems, in particular on efficient query processing. As shown before, the performance of spatial query processing can be improved by decomposing complex spatial objects into simple components. Up to now, only decomposition techniques generating a linear number of very simple components, e.g. triangles or trapezoids, have been considered. In this paper, we will investigate the natural trade-off between the complexity of the components and the redundancy, i.e. the number of components, with respect to its effect on efficient query processing. In particular, we present two new decomposition methods generating a better balance between the complexity and the number of components than previously known techniques. We compare these new decomposition methods to the traditional undecomposed representation as well as to the well-known decomposition into convex polygons with respect to their performance in spatial query processing. This comparison points out that for a wide range of query selectivity the new decomposition techniques clearly outperform both the undecomposed representation and the convex decomposition method. More important than the absolute gain in performance by a factor of up to an order of magnitude is the robust performance of our new decomposition techniques over the whole range of query selectivity.

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