Merging source query interfaces on web databases

Dragut, E; Wu, W; Sistla, P; Yu, C; Meng, W
Dragut, E
Wu, W
Sistla, P
Yu, C
Meng, W
ICDE Conference
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Recently, there are many e-commerce search engines that return information from Web databases. Unlike text search engines, these e-commerce search engines have more complicated user interfaces. Our aim is to construct automatically a natural query user interface that integrates a set of interfaces over a given domain of interest. For example, each airline company has a query interface for ticket reservation and our system can construct an integrated interface for all these companies. This will permit users to access information uniformly from multiple sources. Each query interface from an e-commerce search engine is designed so as to facilitate users to provide necessary information. Specifically, (1) related pieces of information such as first name and last name are grouped together and (2) certain hierarchical relationships are maintained. In this paper, we provide an algorithm to compute an integrated interface from query interfaces of the same domain. The integrated query interface can be proved to preserve the above two types of relationships. Experiments on five domains verify our theoretical study.