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<p><b>Abstract</b>—The problem of defining global views of heterogeneous data sources to support querying and cooperation activities is becoming more and more important due to the availability of multiple data sources within complex organizations and in global information systems. Global views are defined to provide a unified representation of the information in the different sources by analyzing conceptual schemas associated with them and resolving possible semantic heterogeneity. In the paper, we propose an affinity-based unification method for global view construction. In the method: 1) The concept of affinity is introduced to assess the level of semantic relationship between elements in different schemas by taking into account semantic heterogeneity; 2) Schema elements are classified by affinity levels using clustering procedures so that their different representations can be analyzed for unification; 3) Global views are constructed starting from selected clusters by unifying representations of their elements. Experiences of applying the proposed unification method and the associated tool environment <scp>artemis</scp> on databases of the Italian Public Administration information systems are described.</p>
Heterogeneous data sources, affinity, clustering, global view, schema analysis and unification.

V. De Antonellis, S. Castano and S. De Capitani di Vimercati, "Global Viewing of Heterogeneous Data Sources," in IEEE Transactions on Knowledge & Data Engineering, vol. 13, no. , pp. 277-297, 2001.
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