15.1. Introduction

Information technology applications present new challenging requests to the database research field. These requests are motivated by the widespread use of database applications and by the complex and new needs that these applications present. Furthermore, the volume of data is growing everyday and is reaching dimensions of terabytes, while the response must be fast and precise.

Instances of these applications are the data warehouse analysis procedures that perform several scans of huge databases in order to provide an answer to a single request. These queries ask the system to perform huge computations based on the aggregation of data. They define a new typology of database applications: the OLAP (On-Line Analytical Processing) ...

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