Integration of biological sources: Current systems and challenges ahead

Thomas Hernandez, Subbarao Kambhampati

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


This paper surveys the area of biological and genomic sources integration, which has recently become a major focus of the data integration research field. The challenges that an integration system for biological sources must face are due to several factors such as the variety and amount of data available, the representational heterogeneity of the data in the different sources, and the autonomy and differing capabilities of the sources. This survey describes the main integration approaches that have been adopted. They include warehouse integration, mediator-based integration, and navigational integration. Then we look at the four major existing integration systems that have been developed for the biological domain: SRS, BioKleisli, TAMBIS, and DiscoveryLink. After analyzing these systems and mentioning a few others, we identify the pros and cons of the current approaches and systems and discuss what an integration system for biologists ought to be.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-60
Number of pages10
JournalSIGMOD Record
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Information Systems


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