Temporal data

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Temporal data refers to data, where changes over time or temporal aspects play a central role or are of interest.


Temporal data is data that varies over time.
[Jensen and Snodgrass, 1999]

A temporal data denotes the evolution of an object characteristic over a period of time.
[Daassi and Nigay, 2004]

Time dependent data is characterized by data elements being a function of time. In general, data takes the form
d = f(t)

For data defined at discrete time stamps ti, this relation can be represented as:

D = {(t1, d1),( t2, d2), ..., (tn, dn)}
di = f(ti)
[Müller and Schumann, 2003]

Time-series are a part of the broader field of time-oriented data:

Time series data is characterized by data elements being a function of time. In general, this data takes the following form:
D = {(t1, y1),( t2, y2), ..., (tn, yn)}
yi = f(ti)
[Weber et al., 2001]


  • temporal data
  • time-oriented data
  • time-varying data
  • time-dependent data


  • [Daassi et al., 2004] Chaouki Daassi, Laurence Nigay, and Marie-Christine Fauvet. Visualization Process of Temporal Data, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 3180, Springer-Verlag Heidelberg, 2004.
  • [Jensen and Snodgrass, 1999] Christian S. Jensen and Richard T. Snodgrass. Temporal Data Management, IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering, 11:36-44, 1999.
  • [Müller and Schumann, 2003] W. Müller and H. S. Schumann. Visualization Methods for Time-dependent Data - an Overview, In Proceedings of Winter Simulation 2003, New Orleans, USA, 2003
  • [Weber et al., 2001] Marc Weber, Marc Alexa, and Wolfgang Müller. Visualizing Time-Series on Spirals, In Proceedings of the IEEE Symposium on Information Visualization 2001 (InfoVis 2001), p. 7-14, October 2001.