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Automating the Design and Construction of Query Forms
October 2009 (vol. 21 no. 10)
pp. 1389-1402
Magesh Jayapandian, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
H.V. Jagadish, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
One of the simplest ways to query a database is through a form where a user can fill in relevant information and obtain desired results by submitting the form. Designing good forms is a nontrivial manual task, and the designer needs a sound understanding of both the data organization and the querying needs. Furthermore, form design usually has conflicting goals: each form should be simple and easy to understand, while collectively, the interface must support as many queries as possible. In this paper, we present a framework for generating forms in an automatic and principled way, given a database and a sample query workload. We design a tunable clustering algorithm for establishing form structure based on multiple “similar” queries, which includes a mechanism for extending forms to support future “similar” queries. The algorithm is adaptive and can incrementally adjust forms to reflect the most current querying trends. We have implemented our form generation system on a real database and evaluated it on a comprehensive set of query loads and database schemas. We observe that our system generates a modest number of forms for large and diverse query loads even after placing a strict bound on form complexity.

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Index Terms:
User interfaces, query design and implementation languages.
Magesh Jayapandian, H.V. Jagadish, "Automating the Design and Construction of Query Forms," IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering, vol. 21, no. 10, pp. 1389-1402, Oct. 2009, doi:10.1109/TKDE.2008.237
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