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A THEORY OF CONTEXTS IN INFORMATION BASES Manos Theodorakis1 2, Anastasia Analyti1, Panos Constantopoulos1 2 and Nicolas
 

Summary: A THEORY OF CONTEXTS IN INFORMATION BASES
Manos Theodorakis1 2, Anastasia Analyti1, Panos Constantopoulos1 2 and Nicolas
Spyratos3
1Institute of Computer Science, FORTH, P.O.Box 1385, GR 711 10 Heraklion, Crete, Greece
2Department of Computer Science, University of Crete, Heraklion, Greece
3Universite de Paris-Sud, LRI-Bat 490, 91405 Orsay Cedex, France
Abstract | Although semantic data models provide expressive conceptual modeling mechanisms,
they do not support context, i.e. providing controlled partial information on conceptual entities by
viewing them from di erent viewpoints or in di erentsituations. In this paper, we present a model for
representing contexts in information bases along with a set of operations for manipulating contexts.
These operationssupport contextcreation, update,copy, union, intersection,and di erence. In partic-
ular, our operationsof context union, intersection,and di erenceare di erent from these of set theory
as they take into account the notion of context. However, they also satisfy the important properties
of commutativity, associativity, and distributivity. Our model contributes to the e cient handling of
information, especially in distributed, cooperative environments, as it enables (i) representing (possi-
bly overlapping) partitions of an information base (ii) partial representations of objects, (iii) exible
naming (e.g. relative names, synonyms and homonyms), (iv) focusing attention, and (v) combining
and comparing di erent partial representations. This work advances towards the development of a
formal framework intended to clarify several theoretical and practical issues related to the notion of
context. The use of context in a cooperative environment is illustrated through a detailed example.

  

Source: Analyti, Anastasia - Institute of Computer Science, Foundation of Research and Technology, Hellas

 

Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences