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An evaluation of uplift mapping languages

Ademar Crotti Junior (University of Dublin Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland)
Christophe Debruyne (University of Dublin Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland)
Rob Brennan (University of Dublin Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland)
Declan O’Sullivan (University of Dublin Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland)

International Journal of Web Information Systems

ISSN: 1744-0084

Article publication date: 6 November 2017

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to evaluate the state-of-the-art in CSV uplift tools. Based on this evaluation, a method that incorporates data transformations into uplift mapping languages by means of functions is proposed and evaluated. Typically, tools that map non-resource description framework (RDF) data into RDF format rely on the technology native to the source of the data when data transformation is required. Depending on the data format, data manipulation can be performed using underlying technology, such as relational database management system (RDBMS) for relational databases or XPath for XML. For CSV/Tabular data, there is no such underlying technology, and instead, it requires either a transformation of source data into another format or pre/post-processing techniques.

Design/methodology/approach

To evaluate the state-of-the-art in CSV uplift tools, the authors present a comparison framework and have applied it to such tools. A key feature evaluated in the comparison framework is data transformation functions. They argue that existing approaches for transformation functions are complex – in that a number of steps and tools are required. The proposed method, FunUL, in contrast, defines functions independent of the source data being mapped into RDF, as resources within the mapping itself.

Findings

The approach was evaluated using two typical real-world use cases. The authors have compared how well our approach and others (that include transformation functions as part of the uplift mapping) could implement an uplift mapping from CSV/Tabular into RDF. This comparison indicates that the authors’ approach performs well for these use cases.

Originality/value

This paper presents a comparison framework and applies it to the state-of-the-art in CSV uplift tools. Furthermore, the authors describe FunUL, which, unlike other related work, defines functions as resources within the uplift mapping itself, integrating data transformation functions and mapping definitions. This makes the generation of RDF from source data transparent and traceable. Moreover, as functions are defined as resources, these can be reused multiple times within mappings.

Keywords

Citation

Crotti Junior, A., Debruyne, C., Brennan, R. and O’Sullivan, D. (2017), "An evaluation of uplift mapping languages", International Journal of Web Information Systems, Vol. 13 No. 4, pp. 405-424. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJWIS-04-2017-0036

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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