Using Semantic Values to Falilitate Interoperability Among Heterogeneous Information Systems.

Edward Sciore, Michael Siegel, Arnon Rosenthal: Using Semantic Values to Falilitate Interoperability Among Heterogeneous Information Systems. ACM Trans. Database Syst. 19(2): 254-290(1994)
  author    = {Edward Sciore and
               Michael Siegel and
               Arnon Rosenthal},
  title     = {Using Semantic Values to Falilitate Interoperability Among Heterogeneous
               Information Systems},
  journal   = {ACM Trans. Database Syst.},
  volume    = {19},
  number    = {2},
  year      = {1994},
  pages     = {254-290},
  ee        = {, db/journals/tods/ScioreSR94.html},
  bibsource = {DBLP,}


Large organizations need to exchange information among many separately developed systems. In order for this exchange to be useful, the individual systems must agree on the meaning of their exchanged data. That is, the organization must ensure semantic interoperability. This paper provides a theory of semantic values as a unit of exchange that facilitates semantic interoperability betweeen heterogeneous information systems. We show how semantic values can either be stored explicitly or be defined by environments. A system architecture is presented that allows autonomous components to share semantic values. The key component in this architecture is called the context mediator, whose job is to identify and construct the semantic values being sent, to determine when the exchange is meaningful, and to convert the semantic values to the form required by the receiver.

Our theory is then applied to the relational model. We provide an interpretation of standard SQL queries in which context conversions and manipulations are transparent to the user. We also introduce an extension of SQL, called Context-SQL (C-SQL), in which the context of a semantic value can be explicitly accessed and updated. Finally, we describe the implementation of a prototype context mediator for a relational C-SQL system.

Copyright © 1994 by the ACM, Inc., used by permission. Permission to make digital or hard copies is granted provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or direct commercial advantage, and that copies show this notice on the first page or initial screen of a display along with the full citation.

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Referenced by

  1. Theo Härder, Günter Sauter, Joachim Thomas: The Intrinsic Problems of Structural Heterogeneity and an Approach to Their Solution. VLDB J. 8(1): 25-43(1999)
  2. Arnon Rosenthal, Edward Sciore: First-Class Views: A Key to User-Centered Computing. SIGMOD Record 28(3): 29-36(1999)
  3. Silvana Castano, Valeria De Antonellis: Building Views over Semistructured Data Sources. ER 1999: 146-160
  4. Domenico Ursino: Deriving Type Conflicts and Object Cluster Similarities in Database Schemes by an Automatic and Semantic Approach. ADBIS 1999: 46-60
  5. Christine Parent, Stefano Spaccapietra: Issues and Approaches of Database Integration. Commun. ACM 41(5): 166-178(1998)
  6. Frédéric Gingras, Laks V. S. Lakshmanan: nD-SQL: A Multi-Dimensional Language for Interoperability and OLAP. VLDB 1998: 134-145
  7. Stéphane Bressan, Cheng Hian Goh, Kofi Fynn, Marta Jessica Jakobisiak, Karim Hussein, Henry B. Kon, Thomas Lee, Stuart E. Madnick, Tito Pena, Jessica Qu, Annie W. Shum, Michael Siegel: The COntext INterchange Mediator Prototype. SIGMOD Conference 1997: 525-527
  8. Veda C. Storey, Harald Ullrich, Shankar Sundaresan: An Ontology for Database Design Automation. ER 1997: 2-15
  9. Laks V. S. Lakshmanan, Fereidoon Sadri, Iyer N. Subramanian: SchemaSQL - A Language for Interoperability in Relational Multi-Database Systems. VLDB 1996: 239-250
  10. Greg A. Washburn, Lois M. L. Delcambre, Mark A. Whiting: Reuse of High-Level Information Requests: Leveraging the Investment. SSDBM 1996: 186-195
  11. Arnon Rosenthal, Leonard J. Seligman: Data Integration in the Large: The Challenge of Reuse. VLDB 1994: 669-675
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