Estimating data accuracy in a federated database environment

  • M. P. Reddy
  • Richard Y. Wang
Distributed Systems
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 1006)


The need for integration of data in a heterogeneous or federated database environment creates a corresponding need for estimating the accuracy of the integrated data as a function of the accuracy of the originating data sources. Even in a single database system, different base relations are frequently characterized by dissimilar levels of accuracy; however, no technique exists for defining the accuracy of this single database system in terms of the accuracy of the base relations. This need is further heightened in the case of federated environments involving multiple heterogeneous databases. To address this need, a generalized method is proposed for estimating the overall data accuracy in terms of the accuracy of relevant base relations and the actual database query. The query is examined in terms of its underlying set of base operators. A rigorous theoretical framework encompassing all these possible base operators is presented in this paper using the relational model. While the accuracy estimates are postulated on the basis of uniform distribution, the implications of non-uniform error distributions are also examined in theoretical terms. Finally, a running example is utilized to highlight the practical implications of the proposed theoretical framework.

Key words

Data Quality Relational Algebra Database Management Systems 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. P. Reddy
    • 1
  • Richard Y. Wang
    • 2
  1. 1.Kenan Systems CorporationCambridge
  2. 2.Sloan School of ManagementMITCambridge

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