Handling Changes of Database Schemas and Corresponding Ontologies

  • Andreas Kupfer
  • Silke Eckstein
  • Karl Neumann
  • Brigitte Mathiak
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4231)


Currently, knowledge from biological research is stored in hundreds of databases, counting only public accessible ones. Finding specific data in these is a challenging task which can be supported by ontologies describing them. The maintenance of a corresponding ontology is time consuming manual work, because research database schemas change rapidly. Our project will reduce the work by automating tasks, like a generation process and applying schema changes to the corresponding ontology. We call the proposed method coevolution, because database schema and ontology are allowed to evolve independently without ever losing their connection to each other. Our method consists of initial ontology generation, manual annotation and change propagation steps.


Schema Change Database Schema Semantic Annotation Change Operation Ontology Evolution 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Spyns, P., Meersman, R., Jarrar, M.: Data modelling versus ontology engineering. SIGMOD Rec. 31, 12–17 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Erdmann, M., Studer, R.: How to structure and access XML documents with ontologies. Data Knowl. Eng. 36, 317–335 (2001)zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bechhofer, S., van Harmelen, F., Hendler, J., Horrocks, I., McGuinness, D., Patel-Schneider, P., Stein, L.: OWL web ontology language reference, W3C (2004)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gómez-Pérez, A., Fernández-López, M., Corcho, O.: Ontological Engineering. Springer, Heidelberg (2004)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    de Laborda, C., Conrad, S.: Relational.OWL - A Data and Schema Representation Format Based on OWL. In: Conceptual Modelling 2005 (APCCM 2005), pp. 89–96. Australian Computer Society (2005)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Galperin, M.Y.: The Molecular Biology Database Collection: 2006 update. Nucl. Acids Res. 34, D3–D5 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lacroix, Z., Critchlow, T.: Bioinformatics – Managing Scientific Data. Morgan Kaufmann, San Francisco (2003)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Stevens, R., Wroe, C., Lord, P., Goble, C.: Ontologies in Bioinformatics. In: Int. Handbooks on Information Systems, pp. 635–657. Springer, Heidelberg (2004)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Fan, H., Poulovassilis, A.: Schema evolution in data warehousing environments - a schema transformation-based approach. In: Atzeni, P., Chu, W., Lu, H., Zhou, S., Ling, T.-W. (eds.) ER 2004. LNCS, vol. 3288, pp. 639–653. Springer, Heidelberg (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Tresch, M.: Evolution in Objekt-Datenbanken. Teubner, Stuttgart (1995)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Lu, J.J., Hsu, C.N.: Query answering using ontologies in agent-based resource sharing environment for biological web information integrating. In: Proc. of IJCAI 2003 Workshop on Information Integration on the Web, pp. 197–202 (2003)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Stuckenschmidt, H., van Harmelen, F.: Information Sharing on the Semantic Web. In: Advanced Information and Knowledge Processing. Springer, Heidelberg (2005)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Castano, S., Antonellis, V.D.: A Discovery-Based Approach to Database Ontology Design. Distrib. Parallel Databases 7, 67–98 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kroenke, D.: Database Processing. Fundamentals, Design, and Implementation, 10th edn. Pearson Prentice Hall, New Jersey (2005)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Franconi, E., Grandi, F., Mandreoli, F.: Schema evolution and versioning: A logical and computational characterisation. In: Balsters, H., De Brock, B., Conrad, S. (eds.) FoMLaDO 2000 and DEMM 2000. LNCS, vol. 2065, pp. 85–99. Springer, Heidelberg (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Ding, Y., Foo, S.: Ontology research and development, Part 2 - A review of ontology mapping and evolving. Journal of Information Science 28, 375–388 (2002)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Knublauch, H., Fergerson, R., Noy, N., Musen, M.: The Protégé OWL Plugin: An Open Development Environment for Semantic Web Applications. In: McIlraith, S.A., Plexousakis, D., van Harmelen, F. (eds.) ISWC 2004. LNCS, vol. 3298, pp. 229–243. Springer, Heidelberg (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Noy, N.F., Klein, M.: Ontology evolution: Not the same as schema evolution. Knowl. Inf. Syst. 6, 428–440 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Necib, C.B., Freytag, J.: Query Processing Using Ontologies. In: Pastor, Ó., Falcão e Cunha, J. (eds.) CAiSE 2005. LNCS, vol. 3520, pp. 167–186. Springer, Heidelberg (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andreas Kupfer
    • 1
  • Silke Eckstein
    • 1
  • Karl Neumann
    • 1
  • Brigitte Mathiak
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Information SystemsTechnical University of BraunschweigGermany

Personalised recommendations