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FlashRelate: extracting relational data from semi-structured spreadsheets using examples

4 years 12 months ago
FlashRelate: extracting relational data from semi-structured spreadsheets using examples
With hundreds of millions of users, spreadsheets are one of the most important end-user applications. Spreadsheets are easy to use and allow users great flexibility in storing data. This flexibility comes at a price: users often treat spreadsheets as a poor man’s database, leading to creative solutions for storing high-dimensional data. The trouble arises when users need to answer queries with their data. Data manipulation tools make strong assumptions about data layouts and cannot read these ad-hoc databases. Converting data into the appropriate layout requires programming skills or a major investment in manual reformatting. The effect is that a vast amount of real-world data is “locked-in” to a proliferation of one-off formats. We introduce FLASHRELATE, a synthesis engine that lets ordinary users extract structured relational data from spreadsheets without programming. Instead, users extract data by supplying examples of output relational tuples. FLASHRELATE uses these examp...
Daniel W. Barowy, Sumit Gulwani, Ted Hart, Benjami
Added 16 Apr 2016
Updated 16 Apr 2016
Type Journal
Year 2015
Where PLDI
Authors Daniel W. Barowy, Sumit Gulwani, Ted Hart, Benjamin G. Zorn
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