Flexible and dynamic integration of multiple information bases
To support the information sharing in a high performance distributed network of cooperative nodes, a flexible and dynamic integration facility must be developed. A node in the network is typically one user behind his workstation. On one hand, the nodes in the network are developed and evolved independent of each other, primarily to support their local needs, and thus their independence and autonomy must be supported. On the other hand, some nodes tightly and some nodes loosely cooperate, therefore every node wishes to have access to a part of the information available in some other nodes. Since the nodes and their cooperation are intrinsically dynamic, the integration facility must support the systematic and incremental derivation/integration of the imported information from other nodes with the local information. The integration facility must also provide user-friendly interface tools to ease the burden of information integration and the consistency checking for complex interrelationships established among the nodes. These requirements of multiple information base integration, that we claim to be fundamental in supporting the inter-operability of cooperating autonomous nodes are addressed in this paper by a novel approach. In specific, the paper presents the definition and manipulation of object clusters and two interface tools, the Schema Manipulation Tool and the Database Browsing Tool to assist users with their integration of nodes' information. The concepts described in this paper are developed and prototypically implemented as a part of the peer object-oriented federated information management system.
keywordsobject-oriented databases federated databases cooperation network distributed schema management schema integration
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