Hierarchical Constraint Satisfaction in Spatial Databases

Dimitris Papadias, Panos Kalnis, and Nikos Mamoulis, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Several content-based queries in spatial databases and geographic information systems (GISs) can be modelled and processed as constraint satisfaction problems (CSPs). Regular CSP algorithms, however, work for main memory retrieval and do not utilize secondary memory indices to prune the search space. This paper shows how systematic and local search techniques can take advantage of the hierarchical decomposition of space, preserved by spatial data structures, to efficiently guide search. We study the conditions under which hierarchical constraint satisfaction outperforms traditional methods with extensive experimentation.

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