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The Metadatabase For Manufacturing Systems Integration


The Metadatabase project is a multi-year research effort at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Sponsored by industry (AlCOA, Digital Equipment Corporation, GE, General Motors, IBM and others) through Rensselaer's Computer Integrated Manufacturing Program, this project seeks to develop novel concepts, methods and techniques for achieving information integration across major functional systems pertaining to computerized manufacturing enterpriseds. Thus, the metadatabase model encompasses the generic tasks of heterogeneous, distributed and autonomous database administration, but also includes information resources mangement and integration of concurrent (functional) systems. The model entails (1) an integrated data and knowledege modeling and representation method; (2) an on-line kernel (the metadatabase)for information modeling and mangement; (3) metadatabase assisted global query formulation and processing; (4) a concurrent architectural whereby global synergies are achieved through (distributed) metadata management rather than synchronization of (distributed) database processing; and (5) a theory of information requirements for integration. A metadatabase prototype was recently demonstrated to the industrial sponsors. The basic concept of the metadatabase model is discucssed through the prototype in the paper.


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