Amalgamating Knowledge Bases, II - Distributed Mediators

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Integrating knowledge from multiple sources is an important aspect of automated reasoning systems.In previous work, we presented a uniform declarative and operational framework, based on annotated logics, for amalgamating multiple knowledge bases and data structures (e.g. relational, object-oriented, spatial, and temporal structures) when these knowledge bases (possibly) contain inconsistencies, uncertainties, and non-monotonic modes of negation. We showed that annotated logics may be used, with some modifications, to mediate between different knowledge bases. The multiple knowledge bases are amalgamated by embedding the individual knowledge bases into a lattice. In this paper, we describe how, given a network of sites where the different databases reside, it is possible to define a distributed semantics for amalgamated knowledge bases. More importantly, we study how the mediator may be distributed across multiple sites so that when certain conditions are satisfied, network failures do not affect the end results of queries that a user may pose. We specify different ways of distributing the mediator to protect against different types of network link failures and develop alternative soundness and completeness results. (Also cross-referenced as UMIACS-TR-93-81)