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TREAT: A reverse engineering method and tool for environmental databases. (English) Zbl 0988.68752
Mayr, Heinrich C. (ed.) et al., Database and expert systems applications. 12th international conference, DEXA 2001, Munich, Germany, September 3-5, 2001. Proceedings. Berlin: Springer. Lect. Notes Comput. Sci. 2113, 175-185 (2001).
Summary: This paper focuses on some issues relating to data modelling, quality and management in a specific domain: forests. Many forest domain specialists e.g., botanists, zoologists, economists and others collect vast volumes of data about the forest fauna and flora, climate, soil, etc. The favourite tools for managing this data are spreadsheets and/or using popular DBMS packages such as Access or FoxPro. The use of these tools introduces two major problems: loss of semantics and poor data structure. These problems and associated issues are examined in this the paper.
To address these problems, we propose a method for database reverse engineering from spreadsheet tables to a conceptual model and suggest a design of a prototype tool (TREAT). We also explain the motivation for and the methodology and approach that we adopted. The interactive process used to identify the constituents of the spreadsheet tables and data semantics are explained. Semi-automated analysis of the associations between the data items in terms of the domain knowledge, constraints and functional dependencies between the data items are also described. The output from the tool may be selected as either an Entity-Relationship or Object or Object-Relational model.
For the entire collection see [Zbl 0970.68701].
MSC:
68U99 Computing methodologies and applications
68P15 Database theory
Software:
Access; FoxPro; TREAT
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