Data Management

Summary Graphs for Relational Database Schemas

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Executive Summary

Increasingly complex databases need ever more sophisticated tools to help users understand their schemas and interact with the data. Existing tools fall short of either providing the "Big picture," or of presenting useful connectivity information. In this paper, the authors define summary graphs, a novel approach for summarizing schemas. Given a set of user-specified query tables, the summary graph automatically computes the most relevant tables and joins for that query set. The output preserves the most informative join paths between the query tables, while meeting size constraints. In the process, they define a novel information-theoretic measure over join edges.

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