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One of the central problems of database integration is schema matching, the identification of similar data elements in two or more databases or other data sources. Existing definitions of "similarity" in this context vary greatly. As a result, schema matching has given rise to large number of heuristics software tools. However, the empirical understanding of this process in humans is very limited, so little guidance can be offered to the further development of heuristics and tool. This paper presents an exploratory study of the similarity judgement process in humans, employing a process tracing methodology. The similarity judgements of twelve data integration professionals on a range of integration problems are recorded and analyzed. Implications for future empirical and applied research in this area are discussed.
Database Management, Database integration

J. Evermann, "An Exploratory Study of Database Integration Processes," in IEEE Transactions on Knowledge & Data Engineering, vol. 20, no. , pp. 99-115, 2007.
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