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Semantic data management: towards querying data with their meaning

Relational database management systems are constantly being extended and augmented to accommodate data in different domains. Recently, with the increasing use of ontology in various applications, the need to support ontology, especially the related inferencing operation, in DBMS has become more concrete and urgent. However, manipulating knowledge along with relational data in DBMSs is not a trivial undertaking due to the mismatch in data models. In this paper, we introduce a framework for managing relational data and hierarchical domain knowledge together. Our framework persists taxonomies contained in ontologies by leveraging XML support in hybrid relational-XML DBMSs (e.g., IBM’s DB2 v9) and rewrites ontology-based semantic matching queries using the industry-standard query languages, SQL/XML and XQuery. Compared with previous approaches, our approach does not materialize transitive closures of ontological relationships to support inferencing. Consequently, our method has wide applicability and good performance.

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