The TheaterLoc Virtual Application

Greg Barish, Craig A. Knoblock, Yi-Shin Chen, Steven Minton, Andrew Philpot and Cyrus Shahabi, University of Southern Californi

Although much has been written about various information integration technologies, little has been said regarding how to combine these technologies together to build an entire virtual application. In this paper, we describe the design and implementation of TheaterLoc, an information integration application that allows users to retrieve information about theaters and restaurants for a variety of cities in the United States, including an interactive map depicting their relative locations and video trailers of the movies playing at the selected theaters. The data retrieved by TheaterLoc comes from five distinct heterogeneous and distributed sources. The enabling technology used to achieve the integration includes the Ariadne information mediator and wrappers for each of the web- based data sources. We focus in detail on the mediator technologies, such as data modeling, source axiom compilation, and query planning. We also describe how the wrappers present an interface for querying data on web sites, aiding in information retrieval used during data integration. Finally, we discuss some of the major integration challenges we encountered and our plans to address them.

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