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A General Formal Framework for Schema Transformation

Peter McBrien, Alexandra Poulovassilis

Journal Article
Data and knowledge engineering
Volume 28
Issue 1
October, 1998
Elsevier Science Ltd.
ISSN 0169-023X

Several methodologies for integrating database schemas have been proposed in the literature, using various common data models (CDMs). As part of these methodologies transformations have been defined that map between schemas which are in some sense equivalent. This paper describes a general framework for formally underpinning the schema transformation process. Our formalism clearly identifies which transformations apply for any instance of the schema and which only for certain instances. We illustrate the applicability of the framework by showing how to define a set of primitive transformations for an extended ER model and by defining some of the common schema transformations as sequences of these primitive transformations. The same approach could be used to formally define transformations on other CDMs.

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