Window query processing in linear quadtrees

Ashraf Aboulnaga, Walid G. Aref

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


The linear quadtree is a spatial access method that is built by decomposing the spatial objects in a database into quadtree blocks and storing these quadtree blocks in a B-tree. The linear quadtree is very useful for geographic information systems because it provides good query performance while using existing B-tree implementations. An algorithm and a cost model are presented for processing window queries in linear quadtrees. The algorithm can handle query windows of any shape in the general case of spatial databases with overlapping objects. The algorithm recursively decomposes the space into quadtree blocks, and uses the quadtree blocks overlapping the query window to search the B-tree. The cost model estimates the I/O cost of processing window queries using the algorithm. The cost model is also based on a recursive decomposition of the space, and it uses very simple parameters that can easily be maintained in the database catalog. Experiments with real and synthetic data sets verify the accuracy of the cost model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-126
Number of pages16
JournalDistributed and Parallel Databases
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2001
Externally publishedYes



  • GIS
  • Quadtrees
  • Spatial access methods
  • Spatial databases
  • Window queries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics

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