Information systems interoperability: What lies beneath?

Jinsoo Park, Sudha Ram

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Interoperability is the most critical issue facing businesses that need to access information from multiple information systems. Our objective in this research is to develop a comprehensive frame-work and methodology to facilitate semantic interoperability among distributed and heterogeneous information systems. A comprehensive framework for managing various semantic conflicts is proposed. Our proposed framework provides a unified view of the underlying representational and reasoning formalism for the semantic mediation process. This framework is then used as a basis for automating the detection and resolution of semantic conflicts among heterogeneous information sources. We define several types of semantic mediators to achieve semantic interoperability. A domain-independent ontology is used to capture various semantic conflicts. A mediation-based query processing technique is developed to provide uniform and integrated access to the multiple heterogeneous databases. A usable prototype is implemented as a proof-of-concept for this work. Finally, the usefulness of our approach is evaluated using three cases in different application domains. Various heterogeneous datasets are used during the evaluation phase. The results of the evaluation suggest that correct identification and construction of both schema and ontology-schema mapping knowledge play very important roles in achieving interoperability at both the data and schema levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)595-632
Number of pages38
JournalACM Transactions on Information Systems
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2004


  • Information integration
  • Mediators
  • Ontology
  • Semantic conflict resolution
  • Semantic heterogeneity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Computer Science Applications


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