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Comput Biomed Res. 1991 Oct;24(5):401-19.

TQuery: a context-sensitive temporal query language.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110.


Users of electronic medical databases request pertinent information by recasting their clinical questions into a formal database query language. Because the query language is the user's only access to the data, the query language must be powerful enough to enable users to express their data requirements. However, a competing need is for the query language to be restrictive enough so that queries can have unambiguous semantics and the query processor can generate correct answers. We describe a query language, called TQuery , that was designed specifically to formulate database queries that are dependent on temporal and contextual relationships. TQuery specifications express contextual constraints without the need to explicitly reference calendar dates. TQuery is the database query language used to retrieve patient data from an object-oriented electronic patient medical-record system called the temporal network (TNET). TNET and TQuery were developed to support the real-time temporal reasoning and representation needs of a LISP workstation-based medical expert system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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