Semantics of Database Transformations

Susan Davidson, Peter Buneman, Anthony Kosky

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Database transformations arise in many different settings including database integration, evolution of database systems, and implementing user views and data-entry tools. This paper surveys approaches that have been taken to problems in these settings, assesses their strengths and weaknesses, and develops requirements on a formal model for specifying and implementing database transformations.

We also consider the problem of insuring the correctness of database transformations. In particular, we demonstrate that the usefulness of correctness conditions such as information preservation is hindered by the interactions of transformations and database constraints, and the limited expressive power of established database constraint languages. We conclude that more general notions of correctness are required, and that there is a need for a uniform formalism for expressing both database transformations and constraints, and reasoning about their interactions.

Finally we introduce WOL, a declarative language for specifying and implementing database transformations and constraints. We briefly describe the WOL language and its semantics, and argue that it addresses many of the requirements on a formalism for dealing with general database transformations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSemantics in Databases
EditorsL. Libkin, B. Thalheim
PublisherSpringer-Verlag GmbH
Number of pages37
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-540-69700-8
ISBN (Print)978-3-540-64199-5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 1998

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
PublisherSpringer Berlin / Heidelberg
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349

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