A Practical Approach to Merging Multidimensional Data Models

Title: A Practical Approach to Merging Multidimensional Data Models
Authors: Mireku Kwakye, Michael
Date: 2011
Abstract: Schema merging is the process of incorporating data models into an integrated, consistent schema from which query solutions satisfying all incorporated models can be derived. The efficiency of such a process is reliant on the effective semantic representation of the chosen data models, as well as the mapping relationships between the elements of the source data models. Consider a scenario where, as a result of company mergers or acquisitions, a number of related, but possible disparate data marts need to be integrated into a global data warehouse. The ability to retrieve data across these disparate, but related, data marts poses an important challenge. Intuitively, forming an all-inclusive data warehouse includes the tedious tasks of identifying related fact and dimension table attributes, as well as the design of a schema merge algorithm for the integration. Additionally, the evaluation of the combined set of correct answers to queries, likely to be independently posed to such data marts, becomes difficult to achieve. Model management refers to a high-level, abstract programming language designed to efficiently manipulate schemas and mappings. Particularly, model management operations such as match, compose mappings, apply functions and merge, offer a way to handle the above-mentioned data integration problem within the domain of data warehousing. In this research, we introduce a methodology for the integration of star schema source data marts into a single consolidated data warehouse based on model management. In our methodology, we discuss the development of three (3) main streamlined steps to facilitate the generation of a global data warehouse. That is, we adopt techniques for deriving attribute correspondences, and for schema mapping discovery. Finally, we formulate and design a merge algorithm, based on multidimensional star schemas; which is primarily the core contribution of this research. Our approach focuses on delivering a polynomial time solution needed for the expected volume of data and its associated large-scale query processing. The experimental evaluation shows that an integrated schema, alongside instance data, can be derived based on the type of mappings adopted in the mapping discovery step. The adoption of Global-And-Local-As-View (GLAV) mapping models delivered a maximally-contained or exact representation of all fact and dimensional instance data tuples needed in query processing on the integrated data warehouse. Additionally, different forms of conflicts, such as semantic conflicts for related or unrelated dimension entities, and descriptive conflicts for differing attribute data types, were encountered and resolved in the developed solution. Finally, this research has highlighted some critical and inherent issues regarding functional dependencies in mapping models, integrity constraints at the source data marts, and multi-valued dimension attributes. These issues were encountered during the integration of the source data marts, as it has been the case of evaluating the queries processed on the merged data warehouse as against that on the independent data marts.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/20457
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -