Evolving Objects in Temporal Information Systems
This paper presents a semantic foundation of temporal conceptual models used to design temporal information systems. We consider a modelling language able to express both timestamping and evolution constraints. We conduct a deeper investigation of evolution constraints, eventually devising a model-theoretic semantics for a full-fledged model with both timestamping and evolution constraints. The proposed formalization is meant both to clarify the meaning of the various temporal constructors that appeared in the literature and to give a rigorous definition, in the context of temporal information systems, to notions like satisfiability, subsumption and logical implication. Furthermore, we show how to express temporal constraints using a subset of first-order temporal logic, i.e. DLRUS, the description logic DLR extended with the temporal operators Since and Until. We show how DLRUS is able to capture the various modelling constraints in a succinct way and to perform automated reasoning on temporal conceptual models.