Query-through-Drilldown: Data-Oriented Extensional Queries

Alan Dix1 and Damon Oram2

1 Computing Department, Infolab21, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK
2 Corporate Information Systems, Information Systems Services, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK

< Alan on the Web > < Damon on the Web >

Paper at AVI'2008, 28-30 May 2006, Napoli, ITALY.

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Abstract

Traditional database query formulation is intensional: at the level of schemas, table and column names.  Previous work has shown that filters can be created using a query paradigm focused on interaction with data tables. This paper presents a technique, Query-through-Drilldown, to enable join formulation in a data-oriented paradigm.  Instead of formulating joins at the level of schemas, the user drills down through tables of data and the query is implicitly created based on the user's actions. Query-through-Drilldown has been applied to a large relational database, but similar techniques could be applied to semi-structured data or semantic web ontologies.

keywords: database query, data-oriented interaction,  SQL, tabular interface, extensional query,  data structure mining, query-by-browsing


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Figure 1. QbB (web interface) user selects records.


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Figure 2. QbB generates SQL and highlights query results.


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Figure 3. Selecting a column to drilldown through


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Figure 4. Selected column expands.


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Figure 6.  Additional column for m–n relation.


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Figure 7.  Complex query: added columns and reordered.


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Figure 8.  Relationship graph for database.


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Figure 9.  Query tree.


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Figure 12. Prototype with four tables joined.


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Figure 13. Prototype after filtering and computed column.


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Figure 14. Long menus!


http://www.hcibook.com/alan/papers/avi2008-query-through-drilldown/

Alan Dix 26/3/2008