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Reasoning about Temporal Relations: A Maximal Tractable Subclass of Allen's Interval Algebra
 Journal of the ACM
, 1995
"... We introduce a new subclass of Allen's interval algebra we call "ORDHorn subclass," which is a strict superset of the "pointisable subclass." We prove that reasoning in the ORDHorn subclass is a polynomialtime problem and show that the pathconsistency method is sufficient for deciding satisfiabil ..."
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Cited by 161 (9 self)
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We introduce a new subclass of Allen's interval algebra we call "ORDHorn subclass," which is a strict superset of the "pointisable subclass." We prove that reasoning in the ORDHorn subclass is a polynomialtime problem and show that the pathconsistency method is sufficient for deciding satisfiability. Further, using an extensive machinegenerated case analysis, we show that the ORDHorn subclass is a maximal tractable subclass of the full algebra (assuming<F NaN> P6=NP). In fact, it is the unique greatest tractable subclass amongst the subclasses that contain all basic relations. This work has been supported by the German Ministry for Research and Technology (BMFT) under grant ITW 8901 8 as part of the WIP project and under grant ITW 9201 as part of the TACOS project. 1 1 Introduction Temporal information is often conveyed qualitatively by specifying the relative positions of time intervals such as ". . . point to the figure while explaining the performance of the system . . . "...
Combining Qualitative and Quantitative Constraints in Temporal Reasoning
 Artificial Intelligence
, 1996
"... This paper presents a general model for temporal reasoning that is capable of handling both qualitative and quantitative information. This model allows the representation and processing of many types of constraints discussed in the literature to date, including metric constraints (restricting the ..."
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Cited by 139 (0 self)
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This paper presents a general model for temporal reasoning that is capable of handling both qualitative and quantitative information. This model allows the representation and processing of many types of constraints discussed in the literature to date, including metric constraints (restricting the distance between time points) and qualitative, disjunctive constraints (specifying the relative position of temporal objects). Reasoning tasks in this unified framework are formulated as constraint satisfaction problems and are solved by traditional constraint satisfaction techniques, such as backtracking and path consistency. New classes of tractable problems are characterized, involving qualitative networks augmented by quantitative domain constraints, some of which can be solved in polynomial time using arc and path consistency. This work was supported in part by grants from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, AFOSR 900136, and the National Science Foundation, IRI 8815522...
From Local to Global Consistency
, 1992
"... In reasoning tasks involving the maintenance of consistent databases (socalled QQconstraint networks/Q/Q), it is customary to enforce local consistency conditions in order to simplify the subsequent construction of a globally coherent model of the data. In this paper we present a relationship betwe ..."
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Cited by 109 (7 self)
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In reasoning tasks involving the maintenance of consistent databases (socalled QQconstraint networks/Q/Q), it is customary to enforce local consistency conditions in order to simplify the subsequent construction of a globally coherent model of the data. In this paper we present a relationship between the sizes of the variables' domains, the constraints' arity and the level of local consistency sufficient to ensure global consistency. Based on these parameters a new tractability classification of constraint networks is presented. We also show, based on this relationship, that any relation on bivalued variables which is not representable by a network of binary constraints cannot be represented by networks with any number of hidden variables.
Temporal Query Languages: a Survey
, 1995
"... We define formal notions of temporal domain and temporal database, and use them to survey a wide spectrum of temporal query languages. We distinguish between an abstract temporal database and its concrete representations, and accordingly between abstract and concrete temporal query languages. We als ..."
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Cited by 108 (11 self)
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We define formal notions of temporal domain and temporal database, and use them to survey a wide spectrum of temporal query languages. We distinguish between an abstract temporal database and its concrete representations, and accordingly between abstract and concrete temporal query languages. We also address the issue of incomplete temporal information. 1 Introduction A temporal database is a repository of temporal information. A temporal query language is any query language for temporal databases. In this paper we propose a formal notion of temporal database and use this notion in surveying a wide spectrum of temporal query languages. The need to store temporal information arises in many computer applications. Consider, for example, records of various kinds: financial [37], personnel, medical [98], or judicial. Also, monitoring data, e.g., in telecommunications network management [4] or process control, has often a temporal dimension. There has been a lot of research in temporal dat...
Backtracking Algorithms for Disjunctions of Temporal Constraints
 Artificial Intelligence
, 1998
"... We extend the framework of simple temporal problems studied originally by Dechter, Meiri and Pearl to consider constraints of the form x1 \Gamma y1 r1 : : : xn \Gamma yn rn , where x1 : : : xn ; y1 : : : yn are variables ranging over the real numbers, r1 : : : rn are real constants, and n 1. W ..."
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Cited by 106 (2 self)
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We extend the framework of simple temporal problems studied originally by Dechter, Meiri and Pearl to consider constraints of the form x1 \Gamma y1 r1 : : : xn \Gamma yn rn , where x1 : : : xn ; y1 : : : yn are variables ranging over the real numbers, r1 : : : rn are real constants, and n 1. We have implemented four progressively more efficient algorithms for the consistency checking problem for this class of temporal constraints. We have partially ordered those algorithms according to the number of visited search nodes and the number of performed consistency checks. Finally, we have carried out a series of experimental results on the location of the hard region. The results show that hard problems occur at a critical value of the ratio of disjunctions to variables. This value is between 6 and 7. Introduction Reasoning with temporal constraints has been a hot research topic for the last fifteen years. The importance of this problem has been demonstrated in many areas of artifici...
On Binary Constraint Problems
 Journal of the ACM
, 1994
"... The concepts of binary constraint satisfaction problems can be naturally generalized to the relation algebras of Tarski. The concept of pathconsistency plays a central role. Algorithms for pathconsistency can be implemented on matrices of relations and on matrices of elements from a relation algeb ..."
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Cited by 87 (2 self)
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The concepts of binary constraint satisfaction problems can be naturally generalized to the relation algebras of Tarski. The concept of pathconsistency plays a central role. Algorithms for pathconsistency can be implemented on matrices of relations and on matrices of elements from a relation algebra. We give an example of a 4by4 matrix of infinite relations on which no iterative local pathconsistency algorithm terminates. We give a class of examples over a fixed finite algebra on which all iterative local algorithms, whether parallel or sequential, must take quadratic time. Specific relation algebras arising from interval constraint problems are also studied: the Interval Algebra, the Point Algebra, and the Containment Algebra. 1 Introduction The logical study of binary relations is classical [8], [9], [51], [52], [56], [53], [54]. Following this tradition, Tarski formulated the theory of binary relations as an algebraic theory called relation algebra [59] 1 . Constraint satis...
Complexity and Algorithms for Reasoning About Time: A GraphTheoretic Approach
, 1992
"... Temporal events are regarded here as intervals on a time line. This paper deals with problems in reasoning about such intervals when the precise topological relationship between them is unknown or only partially specified. This work unifies notions of interval algebras in artificial intelligence ..."
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Cited by 86 (11 self)
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Temporal events are regarded here as intervals on a time line. This paper deals with problems in reasoning about such intervals when the precise topological relationship between them is unknown or only partially specified. This work unifies notions of interval algebras in artificial intelligence with those of interval orders and interval graphs in combinatorics. The satisfiability, minimal labeling, all solutions and all realizations problems are considered for temporal (interval) data. Several versions are investigated by restricting the possible interval relationships yielding different complexity results. We show that even when the temporal data comprises of subsets of relations based on intersection and precedence only, the satisfiability question is NPcomplete. On the positive side, we give efficient algorithms for several restrictions of the problem. In the process, the interval graph sandwich problem is introduced, and is shown to be NPcomplete. This problem is als...
Representing time in multimedia systems
 In Proc. IEEE International Conference on Multimedia Computing and Systems
, 1994
"... As multimedia systems deal with a variety of temporally interrelated media items, synchronization is an important issue in those systems. One part of synchronization is the representation of temporal information. In contrast to traditional computing tasks, multimedia imposes new requirements on the ..."
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Cited by 58 (4 self)
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As multimedia systems deal with a variety of temporally interrelated media items, synchronization is an important issue in those systems. One part of synchronization is the representation of temporal information. In contrast to traditional computing tasks, multimedia imposes new requirements on the representation of time. Specifically, a finegrained and a flexible temporal model is required. Therefore, a number of temporal models have been suggested by various authors. However, there is not any temporal model that has been agreed on for multimedia. This paper evaluates and classifies a selection of the most common existing models applying fundamental statements of the time theory and temporal logic. Learning from the deficits of the existing models, a new temporal model based on interval operators is proposed for multimedia systems. 1.
Human Action Detection Using PNF Propagation of Temporal Constraints
 In Proc. of the Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
, 1997
"... In this paper we develop a representation for the temporal structure inherent in human actions and demonstrate an effective method for using that representation to detect the occurrence of actions. The temporal structure of the action, subactions, events, and sensor information is described using a ..."
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Cited by 58 (6 self)
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In this paper we develop a representation for the temporal structure inherent in human actions and demonstrate an effective method for using that representation to detect the occurrence of actions. The temporal structure of the action, subactions, events, and sensor information is described using a constraint network based on Allen's interval algebra. We map these networks onto a simpler, 3valued domain (past,now,fut) network  a PNFnetwork  to allow fast detection of actions and subactions. The occurrence of an action is computed by considering the minimal domain of its PNFnetwork, under constraints imposed by the current state of the sensors and the previous states of the network. We illustrate the approach with examples, showing that a major advantage of PNF propagation is the detection and removal of situations inconsistent with the temporal structure of the action. We also examine a method to increase the robustness of PNFpropagation in the case of faulty sensors. 1 In...
Tractable Disjunctions of Linear Constraints: Basic Results and Applications to Temporal Reasoning
 Theoretical Computer Science
, 1996
"... We study the problems of deciding consistency and performing variable elimination for disjunctions of linear inequalities and disequations with at most one inequality per disjunction. This new class of constraints extends the class of generalized linear constraints originally studied by Lassez an ..."
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Cited by 49 (2 self)
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We study the problems of deciding consistency and performing variable elimination for disjunctions of linear inequalities and disequations with at most one inequality per disjunction. This new class of constraints extends the class of generalized linear constraints originally studied by Lassez and McAloon. We show that deciding consistency of a set of constraints in this class can be done in polynomial time. We also present a variable elimination algorithm which is similar to Fourier's algorithm for linear inequalities. Finally, we use these results to provide new temporal reasoning algorithms for the OrdHorn subclass of Allen's interval formalism. We also show that there is no low level of local consistency that can guarantee global consistency for the OrdHorn subclass. This property distinguishes the OrdHorn subclass from the pointizable subclass (for which strong 5consistency is sufficient to guarantee global consistency), and the continuous endpoint subclass (for whi...