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Hecataeus: Managing the Evolution of Data-intensive Ecosystems

Databases are continuously evolving environments, where design constructs are added, removed or updated rather often. Small changes in the database configurations might impact a large number of applications and data stores around the system: queries and data entry forms can be invalidated, application programs might crash. A data-intensive ecosystem comprises a central database and all the software modules and applications that base their operations on it: forms, reports, stored procedures, workflows, etc. HECATAEUS is a tool that represents the database schema along with its dependent views and queries (acting as an abstraction for all the above software modules) as a uniform directed graph. The tool enables the user to create hypothetical evolution events and examine their impact over the overall graph as well as to define rules so that both syntactical and semantic correctness of the affected workload is retained.

Our approach is to provide a mechanism for performing impact analysis for potential changes of database configuration. A graph model that uniformly models queries, views, relations and their significant properties (e.g., attributes, conditions) is the basis of the approach. Apart from the simple task of capturing the semantics of a database system, the graph model allows us to predict the impact of a change over the system. Furthermore, we provide a framework for annotating the database graph with policies concerning its behavior in the presence of hypothetical changes occurring in the database schema. Rules that dictate the proper actions, when additions, deletions or modifications are performed to relations, attributes and conditions (all treated as first-class citizens of the model) are provided. Specifically, assuming that a graph construct is annotated with a policy for a particular event (e.g., a relation node is tuned to deny deletions of its attributes), Hecataeus performs the identification of the affected part of the graph. Moreover, Hecataeus is equiped with capabilities of computing important graph-based metrics that characterize the importance or vulnerability of each node of the graph.



You can retrieve all the source code of Hecataeus via Github [link here]

Hecataeus has undergone several versions. Specifically:

Examples and Demos


This software is available under the GNU GPL v.3 licence. The software and documentation made available under the terms of this license are provided with no warranty.

Originally, this work was licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Greece License. This was much better, because one could very easily understand what is allowed and what is prohibited. However, since Creative Commons discourages the usage of its licencing for software products, we had to switch.


For local copies of these paper, slides of their presenations, long versions and any other additional material, you can always visit my local publications page.


Panos VassiliadisGeorge PapastefanatosPetros ManousisAlkis SimitsisYannis Vassiliou

Past members: Kostis Kyzirakos, Fotini Anagnostou, Konstantinos Aggistalis, Fotini Pechlivani, Stefanos Geraggelos, Efthymia Kontogiannopoulou

Last update: 2013/02/22

Hecataeus of Miletus (c. 550–c. 476 BC), was a Greek philosopher,one of the first Greek historians and the first to produce an adequate visualization of the part of the Earth known to the Greeks at his time, i.e., a map. The logo of this page is from

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