Automatic Discovery of Attributes in Relational Databases
In this paper, the authors design algorithms for clustering relational columns into attributes, i.e., for identifying strong relationships between columns based on the common properties and characteristics of the values they contain. For example, identifying whether a certain set of columns refers to telephone numbers versus social security numbers, or names of customers versus names of nations. Traditional relational database schema languages use very limited primitive data types and simple foreign key constraints to express relationships between columns. Object oriented schema languages allow the definition of custom data types; still, certain relationships between columns might be unknown at design time or they might appear only in a particular database instance.