An Intelligent Information Dictionary for Managing Semantic Metadata

by Stephanie J. Cammarata, Darrell Shane, Prasad Ram


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This report describes a research project whose objective is to improve the interaction between a database user and a relational database management system. It discusses the "data flow" gap between (1) external databases acquired from public agencies and (2) datasets derived from these databases to be used as input to specific simulation models. This gap is the lack of interoperability between external databases and simulation databases and the transformations that are necessary to derive compatible datasets. It also presents the computer software system the authors developed to bridge this data flow gap — the Intelligent Information Dictionary (IID) software system, which serves as a semantic-based interface between a database user and a relational database management system. IID extends the traditional roles of a data dictionary by enabling a user to view, manipulate, and verify semantic aspects of relational data. IID operates as a domain-independent kernel augmented with domain-specific knowledge bases. IID represents and maintains these knowledge bases as semantic metadata necessary for correcting external databases and deriving required abstractions and aggregations from these databases.

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