Modeling Multidimensional Databases

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This paper proposes a data model and a few algebraic operations that provide semantic foundation to multidimensional databases. The distinguishing feature of the proposed model is the symmetric treatment not only of all dimensions but also measures. The model provides support for multiple hierarchies along each dimension and support for adhoc aggregates. The proposed operators are composable, reorderable, and closed in application. These operators are also minimal in the sense that none can be expressed in terms of others nor can anyone be dropped without sacrificing functionality. They make possible the declarative specification and optimization of multidimensional database queries that are currently specified operationally.