Reconciling schemas of disparate data sources: a machine-learning approach
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SIGMOD Rec. 30 (2): 509--520 (2001)

A data-integration system provides access to a multitude of data sources through a single mediated schema. A key bottleneck in building such systems has been the laborious manual construction of semantic mappings between the source schemas and the mediated schema. We describe LSD, a system that employs and extends current machine-learning techniques to semi-automatically find such mappings. LSD first asks the user to provide the semantic mappings for a small set of data sources, then uses these mappings together with the sources to train a set of learners. Each learner exploits a different type of information either in the source schemas or in their data. Once the learners have been trained, LSD finds semantic mappings for a new data source by applying the learners, then combining their predictions using a meta-learner. To further improve matching accuracy, we extend machine learning techniques so that LSD can incorporate domain constraints as an additional source of knowledge, and develop a novel learner that utilizes the structural information in XML documents. Our approach thus is distinguished in that it incorporates multiple types of knowledge. Importantly, its architecture is extensible to additional learners that may exploit new kinds of information. We describe a set of experiments on several real-world domains, and show that LSD proposes semantic mappings with a high degree of accuracy.
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