Ontology Based Data Access in Statoil
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Original versionJournal of Web Semantics. 2017, 44 3-36. 10.1016/j.websem.2017.05.005
Ontology Based Data Access (OBDA) is a prominent approach to query databases which uses an ontology to expose data in a conceptually clear manner by abstracting away from the technical schema-level details of the underlying data. The ontology is ‘connected’ to the data via mappings that allow to automatically translate queries posed over the ontology into data-level queries that can be executed by the underlying database management system. Despite a lot of attention from the research community, there are still few instances of real world industrial use of OBDA systems. In this work we present data access challenges in the data-intensive petroleum company Statoil and our experience in addressing these challenges with OBDA technology. In particular, we have developed a deployment module to create ontologies and mappings from relational databases in a semi-automatic fashion; a query processing module to perform and optimise the process of translating ontological queries into data queries and their execution over either a single DB of federated DBs; and a query formulation module to support query construction for engineers with a limited IT background. Our modules have been integrated in one OBDA system, deployed at Statoil, integrated with Statoil’s infrastructure, and evaluated with Statoil’s engineers and data.