Building Semantic Mappings from Databases to Ontologies

Yuan An, John Mylopoulos, Alex Borgida

A recent special issue of AI Magazine was dedicated to the topic of semantic integration — the problem of sharing data across disparate sources. At the core of the solution lies the discovery the "semantics" of different data sources. Ideally, the semantics of data are captured by a formal ontology of the domain together with a semantic mapping connecting the schema describing the data to the ontology. However, establishing the semantic mapping from a database schema to a formal ontology in terms of formal logic expressions is inherently difficult to automate, so the task was left to humans. In this paper, we report on our study of a semi-automatic tool, called MAPONTO, that assists users to discover plausible semantic relationships between a database schema (relational or XML) and an ontology, expressing them as logical formulas/rules.

Subjects: 11.2 Ontologies; 1.10 Information Retrieval


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