Towards Large-Scale Information Integration

Kenneth M. Anderson, Susanne A. Sherba, William V. Lepthien


Software engineers confront many challenges during software development. One challenge is managing the relationships that exist between software artifacts. We refer to this task as information integration, since establishing a relationship between documents typically implies that an engineer must integrate information from each of the documents to perform a development task. In the past, we have applied open hypermedia techniques and technology to address this challenge. We now extend this work with the development of an information integration environment. We present the design of our environment along with details of its first prototype implementation. Furthermore, we describe our efforts to evaluate the utility of our approach. Our first experiment involves the discovery of keyword relationships between text-based software artifacts. Our second experiment examines the code of an open source project and generates a report on how its module relationships have evolved over time. Finally, our third experiment develops the capability to link code claiming to implement W3C standards with the XHTML representation of the standards themselves. These experiments combine to demonstrate the promise of our approach. We conclude by asserting that the process of software development can be significantly enhanced if more tools made their relationships available for integration.


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