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"Harnessing the Wisdom of the Network for Enterprise Interoperability"

Information system interoperability is key for enterprises to enable business intelligence within and across enterprise boundaries. For example, data warehouses today collect data from a vast variety of heterogeneous internal and external information sources. Enabling semantic interoperability among them becomes an increasing challenge as existing, centralized integration methods do not scale up.
In this talk we will introduce a novel concept for enterprise interoperability based on harnessing the knowledge scattered across enterprises. It is based on decentralized data integration architecture. Interoperability is established in a pay-as you-go manner by generating schema mappings for heterogeneous information resources locally where the need occurs and expert and domain knowledge is available. In other words the integration effort is crowd sourced to the experts in the enterprises. Local schema mappings are composed into global networks of mappings that aggregate local interoperability knowledge and support global access to heterogeneous information sources. While aggregating mapping knowledge, new mappings can be derived and existing mappings verified for correctness and consistency. In this way new and unsuspected interoperability knowledge can emerge.
We will review the principles of this decentralized approach to information interoperability, present distributed algorithms and tools for mapping inference and consistency checking and finally touch the important dimension of incentives for collaborating in such an interoperability setting, including questions of economic incentives and trust relationships.
This work is based on earlier fundamental research that has been performed at EPFL and is currently carried out in a European collaboration project, called NisB ( and led by SAP research, aiming at making the principles of the above described decentralized approach to semantic interoperability applicable in concrete business settings.

Karl Aberer

Prof. Dr. Karl Aberer, EPFL

Karl Aberer is a full professor for Distributed Information Systems at EPFL Lausanne, Switzerland, since 2000. Since 2005 he is the director of the Swiss National Research Center for Mobile Information and Communication Systems
(NCCR-MICS, Prior to his current position,
he was senior researcher at the Integrated Publication and Information Systems institute (IPSI) of GMD in Germany. He received his Ph.D. in mathematics in 1991 from the ETH Zürich. His research interests are on semantics and self-organization in information systems with applications in peer-to-peer search, semantic web, trust management and mobile and sensor networks.
He is or has been serving on the editorial boards of SIGMOD Record, VLDB Journal, ACM Transaction on Autonomous and Adaptive Systems and WorldWide Web Journal and been co-chairing  among others the ICDE, ISWC, MDM, ODBASE, P2P, VLDB and WISE conferences. He is member of the Swiss Science and Technology Council, the advisory body to the Federal Council for issues related to science, higher education, research and technology policy.

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