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Issue No. 07 - July (2011 vol. 23)
ISSN: 1041-4347
pp: 1050-1064
Matteo Golfarelli , University of Bologna, Bologna
Stefano Rizzi , University of Bologna, Bologna
Paolo Biondi , University of Bologna, Bologna
Multidimensional databases are the core of business intelligence systems. Their users express complex OLAP queries, often returning large volumes of facts, sometimes providing little or no information. Thus, expressing preferences could be highly valuable in this domain. The OLAP domain is representative of an unexplored class of preference queries, characterized by three peculiarities: preferences can be expressed on both numerical and categorical domains; they can also be expressed on the aggregation level of facts; the space on which preferences are expressed includes both elemental and aggregated facts. In this paper, we present myOLAP, an approach for expressing and evaluating OLAP preferences, devised by taking into account the three peculiarities above. We first propose a preference algebra where users are enabled to express their preferences, besides on attributes and measures, also on the aggregation level of facts, for instance, by stating that monthly data are preferred to yearly and daily data. Then, with respect to preference evaluation, we propose an algorithm called WeSt that relies on a novel graph representation where two types of domination between sets of facts may be expressed, which considerably improves efficiency. The approach is extensively tested for efficiency and effectiveness on real data, and compared against two other approaches in the literature.
Decision support, personalization, query processing.

S. Rizzi, P. Biondi and M. Golfarelli, "myOLAP: An Approach to Express and Evaluate OLAP Preferences," in IEEE Transactions on Knowledge & Data Engineering, vol. 23, no. , pp. 1050-1064, 2010.
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