Ronald J. Brachman, Peter G. Selfridge, Loren G. Terveen, Boris Altman, Fern Halper, Thomas Kirk, Alan Lazar, Deborah L. McGuiness, Lori Alperin Resnick
Corporate databases are potentially rich sources of new and valuable knowledge. Various approaches to "discovering" or "mining" such knowledge have been proposed. We identify an important and previously ignored discovery task, data archaeology. Data archaeology is a skilled human task, in which the knowledge sought depends on the goals of the analyst, cannot be specified in advance, and emerges only through an iterative process of data segmentation and analysis. We describe a system that supports the data archaeologist with a natural, objectoriented representation of an application domain; a powerful query language and database translation routines; and an easy-to-use and flexible user interface that supports interactive exploration. A formal knowledge representation system provides the core technology that facilitates database integration, querying, and the reuse of queries and query results.