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Matching dependencies were recently introduced as declarative rules for data cleaning and entity resolution. Enforcing a matching dependency on a database instance identifies the values of some attributes for two tuples, provided that the values of some other attributes are sufficiently similar. Assuming the existence of matching functions for making two attributes values equal, the authors formally introduce the process of cleaning an instance using matching dependencies, as a chase-like procedure. They show that matching functions naturally introduce a lattice structure on attribute domains, and a partial order of semantic domination between instances.
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