Accessing and Documenting Relational Databases through OWL Ontologies

  • Carlo Curino
  • Giorgio Orsi
  • Emanuele Panigati
  • Letizia Tanca
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5822)


Relational databases have been designed to store high volumes of data and to provide an efficient query interface. Ontologies are geared towards capturing domain knowledge, annotations, and to offer high-level, machine-processable views of data and metadata. The complementary strengths and weaknesses of these data models motivate the research effort we present in this paper. The goal of this work is to bridge the relational and ontological worlds, in order to leverage the efficiency and scalability of relational technologies and the high level view of data and metadata proper of ontologies. The system we designed and developed achieves: (i) automatic ontology extraction from relational data sources and (ii) automatic query translation from SPARQL to SQL. Among the others, we focus on two main applications of this novel technology: (i) ontological publishing of relational data, and (ii) automatic relational schema annotation and documentation. The system has been designed and tested against real life scenarios from Big Science projects, which are used as running examples throughout the paper.


Relational Database Relational Schema Query Execution SPARQL Query Concrete Domain 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carlo Curino
    • 1
  • Giorgio Orsi
    • 1
  • Emanuele Panigati
    • 1
  • Letizia Tanca
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Elettronica e InformazionePolitecnico di MilanoMilanoItaly

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