Discovery-Based Edit Assistance for Spreadsheets

Date Added: Jun 2009
Format: PDF

Spreadsheets can be viewed as a highly flexible end-users programming environment which enjoys wide-spread adoption. But spreadsheets lack many of the structured programming concepts of regular programming paradigms. In particular, the lack of data structures in spreadsheets may lead spreadsheet users to cause redundancy, loss, or corruption of data during edit actions. This paper demonstrates how implicit structural properties of spreadsheet data can be exploited to offer edit assistance to spreadsheet users. The approach is based on the discovery of functional dependencies among data items which allow automatic reconstruction of a relational database schema.