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Why Your Data Won't Mix: Semantic Heterogeneity Alon Y. Halevy

Summary: Why Your Data Won't Mix: Semantic Heterogeneity
Alon Y. Halevy
Department of Computer Science and Engineering
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195
When database schemas for the same domain are devel-
oped by independent parties, they will almost always be quite
different from each other. These differences are referred to
as semantic heterogeneity. Semantic heterogeneity also ap-
pears in the presence of multiple XML documents, web ser-
vices and ontologies or more broadly, whenever there is
more than one way to structure a body of data. The presence
of semi-structured data exacerbates semantic heterogeneity,
because semi-structured schemas are much more flexible to
start with. In order for multiple data systems to cooperate
with each other, they must understand each other's schema.
Without such understanding, the multitude of data sources
amounts to a digital version of the Tower of Babel.


Source: Anderson, Richard - Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Washington at Seattle
Cafarella, Michael J. - Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Michigan


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences