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Technological advances such as Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) have increased the feasibility and importance of effectively integrating information from an ever widening number of systems within and across enterprises. A key difficulty of achieving this goal comes from the pervasive heterogeneity in all levels of information systems. A robust solution to this problem needs to be adaptable, extensible, and scalable. In this paper, we identify the deficiencies of traditional semantic integration approaches. The COntext INterchange (COIN) approach overcomes these deficiencies by declaratively representing data semantics and using a mediator to create the necessary conversion programs from a small number of conversion rules. The capabilities of COIN is demonstrated using an example with 150 data sources, where COIN can automatically generate the over 22,000 conversion programs needed to enable semantic interoperability using only six parametizable conversion rules. This paper presents a framework for evaluating adaptability, extensibility, and scalability of semantic integration approaches. The application of the framework is demonstrated with a systematic evaluation of COIN and other commonly practiced approaches.
Date of Conference: 5-8 Jan. 2009