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PADS is a declarative language used to describe the syntax and semantic properties of ad hoc data sources such as financial transactions, server logs and scientific data sets. The PADS compiler reads these descriptions and generates a suite of useful data processing tools such as format translators, parsers, printers and even a query engine, all customized to the ad hoc data format in question. Recently, however, to further improve the productivity of programmers that manage ad hoc data sources, the authors have turned to using PADS as an intermediate language in a system that first infers a PADS description directly from example data and then passes that description to the original compiler for tool generation.
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