News Column

Patent Issued for Context-Driven Model Transformation for Query Processing

September 2, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Information Technology Newsweekly -- From Alexandria, Virginia, VerticalNews journalists report that a patent by the inventor Hushon, John Daniel (Medfield, MA), filed on June 30, 2009, was published online on August 19, 2014.

The patent's assignee for patent number 8812452 is EMC Corporation (Hopkinton, MA).

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Information management systems often utilize models to characterize managed information in order to facilitate the processing of queries directed to that information. The complexity of such models generally depends on the type of system, and the complexity compounds as multiple independent systems leverage their own instances of this information, usually in a different modeled form. For example, single-model, single-entity (SMSE) systems are readily characterizable by a particular model, consistent among participating systems, specifically for the use in managing a given entity. In systems of this type, issues such as upgrades, backward compatibility, forward integration, information contracts, access control, and compliance can be addressed in a straightforward manner using conventional techniques across a multitude of system boundaries.

"Additional complexity is introduced in multi-model, single-entity (MMSE) systems, which typically need to incorporate functionality for transforming from one modeled foam to another. For example, the models may differ in terms of the manner in which particular attributes are represented or linked. Issues such as those identified above that are straightforward to deal with in SMSE systems can cause the number of model versions required in an MMSE system to increase exponentially. This can have a negative impact on query processing efficiency and system throughput performance.

"Such problems are magnified in multi-model, multi-entity (MMME) systems, in which hierarchical entity domains bring another exponential increase in complexity. The hierarchical relationships in such systems introduce additional issues such as directional navigability and multiple inheritance.

"There are a number of known approaches to model version complexity reduction, typically involving version control strategies. For example, these strategies may include backward compatibility limitations as well as attribute decomposition to reduce variance between models. However, such complexity reduction techniques do not adequately address the substantial increase in complexity associated with MMSE and MMME systems.

"In information management systems involving semantically modeled data, the above-noted models may make use of the Resource Description Framework (RDF) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). RDF is a language for representing information about resources in the web. It identifies such resources using Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) and models statements about the resources as a directed graph. A given such statement is represented by the elements (Subject, Predicate, Object), also referred to as an RDF triple.

"Additional details regarding RDF are described in the following W3C Recommendations, all dated Feb. 10, 2004 and incorporated by reference herein: RDF/XML Syntax Specification (Revised); RDF Vocabulary Description Language 1.0: RDF Schema; RDF: Concepts and Abstract Syntax; RDF Semantics; and RDF Test Cases. See also W3C Recommendation RDFa in XHTML: Syntax and Processing, Oct. 14, 2008, which is also incorporated by reference herein.

"It is also known to incorporate context information into models based on RDF. See, for example, S. Decker et al., 'TRIPLE--an RDF Rule Language with Context and Use Cases,' W3C Workshop on Rule Languages for Interoperability, 27-28 Apr. 2005, Washington, D.C., USA; and A. Billig et al., 'Platform Independent Model Transformation Based on Triple,' Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 3231, pp. 493-511, 2004.

"However, these techniques fail to provide a scalable approach that is suitable for significantly reducing model version complexity, particularly in MMSE and MMME information management systems."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "Illustrative embodiments of the present invention overcome the above-described deficiencies of conventional practice by providing context-driven model transformation to facilitate query processing in an information management system. This transformation in one or more of the illustrative embodiments is based on establishing context-based linkages between predicates of RDF statements supported across multiple independent but linkable entity namespaces.

"In one aspect of the invention, an information management system utilizes multiple models to characterize stored information. A query directed to the stored information is received, and at least one contextual indicator is determined from the received query. For example, the contextual indicator may be extracted from the query, inferred from the query based on associated meta-information such as an authorization token, or determined using other techniques. The contextual indicator extracted, inferred or otherwise determined from the received query is applied to a meta-model that includes linkages between attributes of respective ones of the multiple models, where each of the linkages comprises one or more associated contextual properties, in order to generate a transformed meta-model specifying an authoritative policy result for processing the query responsive to the determined contextual indicator. The query is then processed in accordance with the authoritative policy result specified in the transformed meta-model.

"The illustrative embodiments advantageously overcome the above-noted drawbacks of conventional approaches to the use of context information in query processing. For example, the context-driven model transformation approach of the illustrative embodiments provides improved processing of a wide variety of types of queries, thereby improving system efficiency, accuracy and throughput, particularly in MMSE and MMME systems.

"These and other features and advantages of the present invention will become more readily apparent from the accompanying drawings and the following detailed description."

For additional information on this patent, see: Hushon, John Daniel. Context-Driven Model Transformation for Query Processing. U.S. Patent Number 8812452, filed June 30, 2009, and published online on August 19, 2014. Patent URL:

Keywords for this news article include: EMC Corporation, Information Technology, Information and Data Management.

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Source: Information Technology Newsweekly

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