An evidential reasoning approach to attribute value conflict resolution in database integration

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31 Scopus citations


Resolving domain incompatibility among independently developed databases often involves uncertain information. DeMichiel [1] showed that uncertain information can be generated by the mapping of conflicting attributes to a common domain, based on some domain knowledge. In this paper, we show that uncertain information can also arise when the database integration process requires information not directly represented in the component databases, but can be obtained through some summary of data. We therefore propose an extended relational model based on Dempster-Shafer theory of evidence [2] to incorporate such uncertain knowledge about the source databases. The extended relation uses evidence sets to represent uncertainty in information, which allow probabilities to be attached to subsets of possible domain values. We also develop a full set of extended relational operations over the extended relations. In particular, an extended union operation has been formalized to combine two extended relations using Dempster's rule of combination. The closure and boundedness properties of our proposed extended operations are formulated. We also illustrate the use of extended operations by some query examples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)707-723
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1996

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was partially supported by the Rome Laboratory of the US Air Force, contract #F30602-91-C-0128.


  • Attribute value conflict
  • Database integration
  • Evidential reasoning
  • Semantic heterogeneity

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