Schema evolution in wikipedia - Toward a web Information system benchmark

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Schema evolution in wikipedia - Toward a web Information system benchmark is a 2008 conference paper written in English by Curino C.A., Moon H.J., Tanca L., Zaniolo C. and published in ICEIS 2008 - Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems.

[edit] Abstract

Evolving the database that is at the core of an Information System represents a difficult maintenance problem that has only been studied in the framework of traditional information systems. However, the problem is likely to be even more severe in web information systems, where open-source software is often developed through the contributions and collaboration of many groups and individuals. Therefore, in this paper, we present an indepth analysis of the evolution history of the Wikipedia database and its schema; Wikipedia is the best-known example of a large family of web information systems built using the open-source software MediaWiki. Our study is based on: (i) a set of Schema Modification Operators that provide a simple conceptual representation for complex schema changes, and (ii) simple software tools to automate the analysis. This framework allowed us to dissect and analyze the 4.5 years of Wikipedia history, which was short in time, but intense in terms of growth and evolution. Beyond confirming the initial hunch about the severity of the problem, our analysis suggests the need for developing better methods and tools to support graceful schema evolution. Therefore, we briefly discuss documentation and automation support systems for database evolution, and suggest that the Wikipedia case study can provide the kernel of a benchmark for testing and improving such systems.

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