The ability to physically interconnect many distributed, autonomous and heterogeneous software systems on a large scale presents new opportunities for sharing and reuse of existing, and for the creataion of new information and new computational services. However, finding and combining information in many such systems is a challenge even for the most advanced computer users. To address this challenge, mediator systems logically integrate many sources to hide their heterogeneity and distribution and give the users the illusion of a single coherent system.
Many new areas, such as scientific collaboration, require cooperation between many autonomous groups willing to share their knowledge. These areas require that the data integration process can be distributed among many autonomous parties, so that large integration solutions can be constructed from smaller ones. For this we propose a decentralized mediation architecture, peer mediator systems (PMS), based on the peer-to-peer (P2P) paradigm. In a PMS, reuse of human effort is achieved through logical composability of the mediators in terms of other mediators and sources by defining mediator views in terms of views in other mediators and sources.
Our thesis is that logical composability in a P2P mediation architecture is an important requirement and that composable mediators can be implemented efficiently through query processing techniques.
In order to compute answers of queries in a PMS, logical mediator compositions must be translated to query execution plans, where mediators and sources cooperate to compute query answers. The focus of this dissertation is on query processing methods to realize composability in a PMS architecture in an efficient way that scales over the number of mediators.
Our contributions consist of an investigation of the interfaces and capabilities for peer mediators, and the design, implementation and experimental study of several query processing techniques that realize composability in an efficient and scalable way.