We describe an approach that supports distributed information discovery when interoperating with large number of autonomous hospital databases. The approach is presented through a case study based on the health care network. The idea is to perform complete execution of a query: data request, database location and data access, in a distributed way, avoiding the use of integrated schemas and centralised structures. The discovery process is limited to a group of databases that have either related data or knowledge about other databases that possibly holds the required data. The process is recursive, executed in parallel and avoids cycles. The approach permits dynamic evolution of the system and attempts to preserve the autonomy of the databases. A prototype has been developed for academic and research purposes. It demonstrates the feasiability of the approach as an alternative to interoperate with a large number of autonomous databases without using integrated schemas.
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Department of Computing - Imperial College
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