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Using semantic values to facilitate interoperability among heterogeneous information systems

Using semantic values to facilitate interoperability among heterogeneous information systems,10.1145/176567.176570,ACM Transactions on Database System

Using semantic values to facilitate interoperability among heterogeneous information systems   (Citations: 244)
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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.
Journal: ACM Transactions on Database Systems - TODS , vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 254-290, 1994
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