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INFOMIX: Knowledge-Based Information Integration

(IST project 2001-33570 INFOMIX) To the official Website.


Project participants

Goals and objectives

The main goal of the INFOMIX project is to provide a set of techniques and associated tools for powerful information integration by using advanced reasoning capabilities. It aims at developing a theory, comprising a comprehensive information model and information integration algorithms, and a prototype implementation of a knowledge-based system for advanced information integration, by using computational logic and integrating research results on data acquisition and transformation.

The objectives of the project are detailed as follows:

Motivation and background

Information integration is the task of providing a uniform interface to various pre-existing data sources, so as to enable users to focus on specifying what they want, rather than thinking of how to obtain the answer. As a result, an information integration system frees the users from the tasks of finding the relevant data sources, interacting with each source in isolation, and selecting, cleaning, and combining data from multiple sources.

Information integration is one of the core problems in distributed databases, cooperative information systems, and data warehousing, which are key areas in the software development industry, and has emerged as a crucial issue in many organizations, due to the increasing number of different information sources available both inside and outside the organization. And, obviously, inter-organization information exchange is rapidly growing as a byproduct of the expansion of the Internet and the World Wide Web.

Although information integration was the subject of several research projects, in practice, an information integration system is usually realized in a pragmatic way. This is partially due to the fact that information integration is a highly complex problem, comprising aspects ranging from modeling to query processing, query optimization, inconsistency handling etc. Both a comprehensive, formal design methodology for information integration, and a set of coherent tools for the design and use of an information integration system, are missing to date.

Our vision is that future systems for information integration will have powerful capabilities through which information integration can be done efficiently at a human level of competence, and even beyond. Furthermore, these systems will provide high flexibility through the possibility of selecting or defining different integration strategies by the user, the use of domain knowledge and context knowledge from the application, and by utilizing varying reasoning capabilities in the integration process.


See official Website.

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