Structural integration: Concepts and case study
When integrating the views of a large telecomunications application database at Bellcore, it was found that some pairs of view objects had significant structural similarities but differed semantically.+ This observation motivated the design of the structural integration methodology described in this article. Currently existing view and schema integration methodologies are based on semantic considerations. They allow integration only if two objects agree in their semantic and structural aspects. Structural integration permits the integration of objects even if they differ semantically. This article introduces structural integration for the case of full structural correspondence. We further develop an important special case, namely structural integration for classes with attribute partial correspondence. We use a subschema of the telecommunications application to demonstrate the applicability of structural integration to situations involving the complexities of real-world databases and applications. Algorithms for checking full structural correspondence of classes and databases are presented. Structural integration has several advantages, including the identification of shared common structures that are important for sharing of data and methods.