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Automatically Inferring ClassSheet Models from Spreadsheets

Automatically Inferring ClassSheet Models from Spreadsheets,10.1109/VLHCC.2010.22,Jácome Cunha,Martin Erwig,João Saraiva

Automatically Inferring ClassSheet Models from Spreadsheets   (Citations: 2)
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Many errors in spreadsheet formulas can be avoided if spreadsheets are built automatically from higher-level models that can encode and enforce consistency constraints. However, designing such models is time consuming and requires expertise beyond the knowledge to work with spreadsheets. Legacy spreadsheets pose a particular challenge to the approach of controlling spreadsheet evolution through higher-level models, because the need for a model might be overshadowed by two problems: (A) The benefit of creating a spreadsheet is lacking since the legacy spreadsheet already exists, and (B) existing data must be transferred into the new model-generated spreadsheet. To address these problems and to support the model-driven spreadsheet engineering approach, we have developed a tool that can automatically infer ClassSheet models from spreadsheets. To this end, we have adapted a method to infer entity/relationship models from relational database to the spreadsheets/ClassSheets realm. We have implemented our techniques in the HaExcel framework and integrated it with the ViTSL/Gencel spreadsheet generator, which allows the automatic generation of refactored spreadsheets from the inferred ClassSheet model. The resulting spreadsheet guides further changes and provably safeguards the spreadsheet against a large class of formula errors. The developed tool is a significant contribution to spreadsheet (reverse) engineering, because it fills an important gap and allows a promising design method (ClassSheets) to be applied to a huge collection of legacy spreadsheets with minimal effort.
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    • ...In order to improve end-users productivity, several techniques have been recently proposed, which guide end users to safely/correctly edit spreadsheets, like, for example, the use of spreadsheet templates [2], ClassSheets [8,11], and the inclusion of visual objects to provide editing assistance in spreadsheets [10]...
    • ...To address the first problem, in [8] we have proposed a technique to derive the spreadsheet’s business model, represented as a ClassSheet model, from the spreadsheet data...

    J'acome Cunhaet al. Type-Safe Evolution of Spreadsheets

    • ...In order to improve the robustness of SS, a considerable amount of research has been done [1,3,4,5,6]...
    • ...Several models have been proposed namely, templates [1], ClassSheets [3,6] and relational models [5] and also techniques to infer models from (legacy) spreadsheet data [1,3]...
    • ...Several models have been proposed namely, templates [1], ClassSheets [3,6] and relational models [5] and also techniques to infer models from (legacy) spreadsheet data [1,3]...
    • ...Nevertheless, the results seem to indicate that models from [3] and [5] are not effective in reducing the number of errors, since one of them is always getting the lowest scores...

    Laura Beckwithet al. End-users Productivity in Model-based Spreadsheets: An Empirical Study

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