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Conversational Databases: Explaining Structured Queries to Users

Koutrika, Georgia and Simitsis, Alkis and Ioannidis, Yannis (2009) Conversational Databases: Explaining Structured Queries to Users. Technical Report. Stanford InfoLab.


PDF (2009) - Submitted for Publication


Many applications offer a form-based environment for na\"{\i}ve users for accessing databases without being familiar with the database schema or a structured query language. Do-It-Yourself, database-driven web application platforms empower non-programmers to rapidly create applications. Users interactions are translated to structured queries and executed. However, as a user is unlikely to know the underlying semantic connections among the fields presented in a form, it is often useful to provide her with some feedback about the queries built without exposing her to the underlying query language, in order to assist her in forming queries correctly. Explaining queries may be also useful for users who explicitly use a structured query language for verification or debugging purposes. In this paper, we take a graph-based approach to the query translation problem. We represent various forms of structured queries as directed graphs and we annotate the graph edges with template labels using an extensible template mechanism. We present different graph traversal strategies for efficiently exploring these graphs and composing textual query descriptions. Finally, we present experimental results for the efficiency and effectiveness of the proposed methods.

Item Type:Techreport (Technical Report)
ID Code:935
Deposited By:Georgia Koutrika
Deposited On:15 Jul 2009 09:02
Last Modified:15 Jul 2009 09:02

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