Maria Madalena Dias, Lúcio Gerônimo Valentim and José Rafael Carvalho
Departamento de Informática, Universidade Estadual de Maringá, Av. Colombo 5790, 870200-900 Maringá-PR, Brazil
Keywords: Reference Architecture, Software Architecture, KDD system, Data Warehouse, and Data Mining.
Abstract: Currently, most of the companies have computational systems to provide support to the operational routines.
Technologies of data warehousing and data mining have appeared to solve the problem of search for
necessary and trustworthy information for decision-making. However, the existing solutions do not enclose
those two technologies; some of them are directed to the construction of a data warehouse and others to the
application of data mining techniques. This paper presents a software architecture that defines the
components necessary for implementation of knowledge discovery systems in database. Some standards of
best practices in projects and in development were used since the definition until the implementation.
With the evolution of computer science and its
increasing use in the diverse areas of knowledge, the
information systems are becoming bigger and more
complex. The faster development of hardware at
lower prices has been changing the methodologies
used for software development. There was, also, an
alteration in the organization of the world-wide
markets, which turned the information into a
precious item for a nation.
In this scene of increasing technological
evolution, the search for knowledge became a
necessity of governmental institutions and private
sectors. However, there is a certain difficulty in the
acquisition of information and knowledge since the
volume of data accumulated by institutions, during
much time, is enormous, and these data are not
Researches have been developed in the area
concerning search of information and knowledge in
great databases, involving, mainly, Data
Warehousing and Data Mining (DM).
Data Warehousing technology defines activities
for search of great volume of data in heterogeneous
operational environments, collecting and organizing
the data in a more homogeneous and optimized
environment for queries. DM is the second stage in
the process of knowledge discovery in database
(KDD). In the first stage (pre-processing), a DW can
be constructed. In this case, it is necessary to
develop software to support this process.
In a software design, the definition of
architecture is an essential activity (Jacobson et al.,
1999). So, this paper presents a software architecture
specified for KDD systems. In order to facilitate the
definition of such architecture, it was necessary to
construct a reference model and reference
architecture. The reference model represents the
significant relationships between the entities of a
determined environment. The reference architecture
defines the common infrastructure for the systems
and the interfaces of the main structural components
that will be enclosed in those systems.
In the next section, some related works are
presented. Following up in Sections 2, 3 and 4,
respectively, the reference model, the reference
architecture and software architecture for KDD
systems are described. In Section 5, it is shown the
conclusions about the research presented in this
As related works, the following ones can be listed:
Oracle Warehouse Builder (Oracle, 2005); I-MIN
(Gupta et al., 2004); GridMiner (Brezany et al.,
2003); KDB2000 (Appice et al., 2006).
Madalena Dias M., Gerônimo Valentim L. and Rafael Carvalho J. (2008).
In Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems - DISI, pages 433-436
DOI: 10.5220/0001686304330436
Oracle Warehouse Builder is a tool that is part
of the set of solutions for database of Oracle
Company. That environment allows things such as,
the access to databases, definition of
transformations, creation of new databases and
multidimensional databases operation.
Gupta et al. (2004) present an architecture for
knowledge discovery and management called I-
MIN. For the execution of activities of KDD process
a language is used. That language is analyzed by a
specific compiler present in the proposed
architecture. All the architecture is divided into
small modules.
GridMiner tool was constructed on a framework
developed by the same group. That research team
includes works about parallel computation in the
development of systems for knowledge discovery.
KDB2000 integrates, in only one tool, the database
access, the preprocessing and transformation of data,
techniques, algorithms of data mining and tools for
visualization. However, that tool does not provide
support for the repetition of the same process
executed by the user.
The reference model proposed in the present study
enables the integration of the necessary functions for
carrying out the construction of a DW, of OLAP
tools (On-line Analytical Processing) and of DM in
only one system. Such integration provides a high
degree of reuse of the system components and,
consequently, enables its construction, if compared
with proposals that isolate the construction of a DW
from other parts of KDD systems.
The functions of a KDD process are defined in
the reference model in modules: source definition,
ET processing, start definition, load processing, DW
definition, OLAP, DM, results definition, view tools.
OLAP and DM modules are essential for the
architecture proposed in the present study. They
integrate OLAP and DM processes in just one
environment, reusing operations, such as extraction,
transformation and load, and sharing data
The reference model defines three different data
sources to be used in OLAP or DM processing:
Source bases, Staging Area and Data Warehouse.
Moreover, beyond those databases, the model
presents a storage space for the results obtained by
using OLAP or DM.
The reference model provided the base for both
definitions, the definition of the reference
architecture and the software architecture, as well.
The reference architecture developed attends
requirements of KDD system. For the definition of
reference architecture it is necessary to choose and
adopt an architectural style. Among the architectural
styles presented by Shaw and Garlan (1996), the ‘in
layer’ style offers abstraction levels that allow
dividing a complex problem into a sequence of
incremental steps and permits reuse. Such
characteristics turn this type of style adequate to
complex and interactive systems, as it is the case of
KDD system.
The architecture is divided in four layers
(Figure 1). Managers were defined for each layer in
order to control both, the moment of creation of
objects that they represent and the access to the layer
components. The components of each layer have
access to its manager and through the access
reference other managers, thus making possible the
communication with the components located on
other layers. Thus, the communication between the
components occurs only through the manager
responsible for the layer they belong to.
The view layer is responsible for
accommodating the components that show the
graphical interfaces (screens) and control the
interaction between the user and the system.
The process layer has a manager that knows all
the processes instanced by users. Thus, to access any
process, the superior layer must ask the manager the
instance of the process desired. Two layer
de apoio
de apoio
Support Classes
Figure 1: Layers that compose the reference architecture.
ICEIS 2008 - International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems
characteristics must be pointed out: 1) the processes
are authenticated by the layer and are available only
to the users with access rights for its; 2) one instance
of the process is created for each user.
The service layer also has a manager that
knows all the services that are instanced by the
architecture. There is an interface that allows the
upper layer to execute a service. That layer is not
authenticated and all the users share the same
instance of a service.
The support layer was defined to organize the
system functions, which give support to the upper
For the documentation regarding the reference
architecture, it was made an adaptation of
methodology presented by Merson (2006). Such
methodology defines the documentation of software
architecture in terms of views. Each view points out
either static or dynamic aspects of the architecture.
But, not all the views are necessary for all the
To illustrate the developed reference
architecture, the view of modules and its relationship
are shown (Figure 2). It is important to point out in
the figure that the view module can be extended to
other packages that implement diverse visualization
technologies, turning the business processes
completely independent from interface technologies.
Figure 2: View of modules that shows the packages of
reference architecture.
The process module is authenticated, due to
that it uses the security and auditorship modules.
The information about the process executed is
registered in the auditorship. It depends on the
service module, because the processes use the
business services during the activities.
In the service module the services are executed
inside of a transactional environment. The services
can access and manipulate metadata (business entity/
persistent data) by using the crud module.
In the security module the security entities, as
users, groups and rights are included. It has services
and processes for user authentication, verification
and definition of rights to access.
On the other hand, the auditorship module
provides services to register the operations executed
in processes and entities.
The crud module comprises a manager of
entities, services and processes for the persistence of
objects. However, the main function of that module
is to provide an abstraction of business entity and
data persistence. Such abstraction consists of joining
the object instances with the metadata structures that
contains additional information about the entity.
Thus, when an entity is recovered from the object
repository, it comes with its basic data, and also,
with a set of additional information useful for
validation and exhibition of the entity data. The
crud module is an advanced mechanism to persist
and control the internal data entities of KDD system.
The software architecture is defined extending the
functions found in the reference architecture, bearing
in mind that, in the reference architecture some basic
components, which serve as integration points
between external components and the internal
architecture, as well as its components have been
defined. Following the reference architecture, each
module in software architecture defines its own
views, processes, services and support components.
The software architecture is a specific
architecture for KDD domain (Figure 3). As the
reference architecture solves the majority of the
structural problems, the definition of software
architecture is facilitated and its components are
abstracted from the concepts and structures defined
by the reference architecture.
A diagram, regarding use cases, was constructed
to assist both, the learning of functional
requirements and the conception of software
architecture. The use cases are: Source Definition,
ET Definition, Run ET, Staging Definition, Load
Definition, Run Load, DW Definition, Run OLAP,
Run DM, Store Results, and View Results. More
details can be found in (Valentin, 2006).
Figure 3: View of Modules of the Software Architecture of KDD system.
Following the architecture construction standard
presented by Bass et al. (2003), it was defined a
reference model, and a reference architecture was
developed, in order to propose a software
architecture for KDD systems.
The software architecture proposed was based
on the reference model, and on use cases identified
for a KDD system, thus being validated through a
prototype, being its development facilitated by
reference architecture.
The documentation using views, defined by
Merson (2006), facilitate the learning and allow
presenting both, the architecture general
organization, as well as the internal functions.
As it could be seen, the definition of the
software architecture components was based on
concepts defined in reference architecture, having
as main focus the application domain. Questions
related to the communication between
components, security and other matters remain in
the definition of reference architecture, thus
making possible a better definition of both, the
application domain and the system functions in the
software architecture.
Finally, the reference model defined
represents the main functions found in the
construction of a DW, in OLAP tools and data
mining, integrated in a unique system. Thus, the
reuse and integration of components make possible
the cheaper construction of KDD systems.
The proposal architecture searched to
congregate the main characteristics of some related
works to the area of knowledge discovery in
database. A comparison between the architecture
proposed and related works was realized using the
following characteristics: 1) descriptive language;
2) interactive activities; 3) software architecture
reusable; 4) sources, targets and processes
metadata, 5) DW activities, and 6) DM activities.
The architecture proposed unsatisfied only the
characteristic 1, while the others architectures
unsatisfied two or more characteristics.
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ICEIS 2008 - International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems