I've been working on an industrial project where my job was to design a data model in-memory and in a relational database in such a way, that can capture the time-varying nature of the production planning of a factory. In other terms, there exist input data and whenever a planning occurs, I have to take a snapshot of the current state of the world and store it.
My solution was to add a header object/table for all relevant input data and output data and have them reference each other's header by its unique auto-incrementing id. Such headers are then considered final and immutable and I do a deep-copy only if something needs to change.
I believe this approach isn't new but I can't recall any (relational-) data modelling courses explicitly mentioning this. My PhD advisor (who is not into general CS) wants me to have a thesis point about this and I'm unable to convince him that either this isn't new or at most a trivial extension to some existing methodology. I've tried searching Google Scholar, but didn't find any articles, perhaps due to wrong keywords.
Can someone point me into the right direction?