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Re: [ontolog-forum] Is there something I missed?

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Len Yabloko" <lenya@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 01 Feb 2009 22:36:00 +0000
Message-id: <W26553206697091233527760@webmail9>
Rich and Matthew    (01)

>Dear Rich,
>> Thanks Matthew,
>> You've written a large number of papers on modeling - my
>> congratulations for
>> being so prolific.  Your papers seem to begin with the concept of data
>> modeling and then go into the proper principles for modeling.
>> But I'm looking for ways to use existing database tables and to
>> discover the
>> classes and relationships that, by chance, went into the original table
>> design.      (02)

Reverse-engineering RDB can help you recover original conceptual design (if 
there was one to being with). However, it can be one of many possible logical 
models, and not necessarily the original one. If I understood you correctly you 
are looking for some inductive reasoning algorithms that start with RDB 
meta-data and performs inference of classes and relations from it.
Even if you find this kind of reasoner (or write one yourself) it will generate 
large number of possible conceptualizations. Recovery of original design 
requires abduction (vs induction).    (03)

>> So if you must begin with an existing database's table designs, how can
>> a
>> reasonable class model be developed for that legacy database?  Are
>> there
>> automatic methods for generating the As-Is class models?
>[MW] The only other thing that I am aware of is the Boro method, mentioned
>here recently, which starts from the data (and you really need to look at
>how people have used a database to be confident of what it is all about).
>> Suggestions, URLs, replies appreciated.
>> Thanks,
>> -Rich    (04)

I recommend you to take a look at the software I developed for converting RDB 
into KB, which can be used as a first step in discovering or creating 
conceptual model from meta-data 
http://protegewiki.stanford.edu/index.php/OntoBase    (05)

--Len    (06)

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