Discovery-based edit assistance for spreadsheets

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Discovery-based edit assistance for spreadsheets
Spreadsheets can be viewed as a highly flexible endusers programming environment which enjoys wide-spread adoption. But spreadsheets lack many of the structured programming concepts of regular programming paradigms. In particular, the lack of data structures in spreadsheets may lead spreadsheet users to cause redundancy, loss, or corruption of data during edit actions. In this paper, we demonstrate how implicit structural properties of spreadsheet data can be exploited to offer edit assistance to spreadsheet users. Our approach is based on the discovery of functional dependencies among data items which allow automatic reconstruction of a relational database schema. From this schema, new formulas and visual objects are embedded into the spreadsheet to offer features for auto-completion, guarded deletion, and controlled insertion. Schema discovery and spreadsheet enhancement are carried out automatically in the background and do not disturb normal user experience.
Jácome Cunha, João Saraiva, Joost Vi
Added 21 May 2010
Updated 21 May 2010
Type Conference
Year 2009
Where VL
Authors Jácome Cunha, João Saraiva, Joost Visser
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