A Technique for Semi-automatic Database Integration in Database Federations

Y. Stavroulas and T. Varvarigou (Greece)


database integration, ontologies, ecommerce, information retrieval


In e-commerce systems that contain database federations, the amount of effort required for a new database to join the federation is crucial for the expansion rate and, eventually, the success of the system. In this paper we present some results of our work towards the reduction of this effort, targeted to systems that use ontologies for their semantic integration. We formalise procedures that can be used as a guideline to produce a database interface, without making assumptions about the database schema or the actual data. We further show that these procedures can be automated to a substantial degree, although complete automation is not presently possible due to the multiplicity of the forms of heterogeneity that have to be coped with. Finally, we outline a technique for the automation of these procedures, which minimises the need to develop code, but does at times require manual amendment of the map between a database schema and the ontology. We argue that this is a profitable trade-off, because it reduces the complexity of the interface production task by disengaging object-oriented programming skills from it.

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