Multidimensional Interfaces for Selecting Data within Ordinal Ranges

In Proceedings of the 7th International Workshop on Consuming Linked Data (2016)

Linked Data interfaces exist in many flavours, as evidenced by subject pages, sparql endpoints, triple pattern interfaces, and data dumps. These interfaces are mostly used to retrieve parts of a complete dataset, such parts can for example be defined by ranges in one or more dimensions. Filtering Linked Data by dimensions such as time range, geospatial area, or genomic location, requires the lookup of data within ordinal ranges. To make retrieval by such ranges generic and cost-efficient, we propose a REST solution in-between looking up data within ordinal ranges entirely on the server, or entirely on the client. To this end, we introduce a method for extending any Linked Data interface with an n-dimensional interface-level index such that n-dimensional ordinal data can be selected using n-dimensional ranges. We formally define Range Gates and Range Fragments and theoretically evaluate the cost-efficiency of hosting such an interface. By adding a multidimensional index to a Linked Data interface for multidimensional ordinal data, we found that we can get benefits from both worlds: the expressivity of the server raises, yet remains more cost-efficient than an interface providing the full functionality on the server-side. Furthermore, the client now shares in the effort to filter the data. This makes query processing becomes more flexible to the end-user, because the query plan can be altered by the engine. In future work we hope to apply Range Gates and Range Fragments to real-world interfaces to give quicker access to data within ordinal ranges