How is Life for a Table in an Evolving Relational Schema? Birth, Death and Everything in Between

  • Panos VassiliadisEmail author
  • Apostolos V. Zarras
  • Ioannis Skoulis
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9381)


In this paper, we study the version history of eight databases that are part of larger open source projects, and report on our observations on how evolution-related properties, like the possibility of deletion, or the amount of updates that a table undergoes, are related to observable table properties like the number of attributes or the time of birth of a table. Our findings indicate that (i) most tables live quiet lives; (ii) few top-changers adhere to a profile of long duration, early birth, medium schema size at birth; (iii) tables with large schemata or long duration are quite unlikely to be removed, and, (iv) early periods of the database life demonstrate a higher level of evolutionary activity compared to later ones.


Schema evolution Patterns of change Design for evolution 



This work was partially supported from the European Community’s FP7/2007-2013 under grant agreement number 257178 (project CHOReOS). We would like to thank the reviewers of the paper for helpful comments and suggestions for solidifying our work.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Panos Vassiliadis
    • 1
    Email author
  • Apostolos V. Zarras
    • 1
  • Ioannis Skoulis
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Computer Science and EngineeringUniversity of IoanninaIoanninaGreece
  2. 2.Opera SoftwareOsloNorway

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