Prof. Dr. Felix Naumann

Metanome - Data Profiling

Data profiling comprises a broad range of methods to efficiently analyze a given data set. In a typical scenario, which mirrors the capabilities of commercial data profiling tools, tables of a relational database are scanned to derive metadata, such as data types and value patterns, completeness and uniqueness of columns, keys and foreign keys, and occasionally functional dependencies and association rules. Individual research projects have proposed several additional profiling tasks, such as the discovery of inclusion dependencies or conditional functional dependencies.

The Metanome project is a project at HPI in cooperation with the Qatar Computing Reserach Institute (QCRI). Metanome provides a fresh view on data profiling by developing and integrating efficient algorithms into a common tool, expanding on the functionality of data profiling, and addressing performance and scalabilities issues for Big Data. A vision of the Metanome project appeared in SIGMOD Record "Data Profiling Revisited" and demo of the Metanome profiling tool was given at VLDB 2015 "Data Profiling with Metanome".

Algorithm Research



  • Ziawasch Abedjan (UCC discovery)
  • Jens Ehrlich (Conditional UCC discovery)
  • Arvid Heise (UCC discovery)
  • Philipp Langer (OD discovery)
  • Fabian Tschirschnitz (IND discovery)

Tool Development


  • Tanja Bergmann (Backend, Frontend, and Architecture)
  • Vincent Schwarzer (Backend and Architecture)
  • Maxi Fischer (Backend and Frontend)


  • Moritz Finke (Backend and Architecture)
  • Carl Ambroselli (Frontend)
  • Jakob Zwiener (Backend and Architecture)
  • Claudia Exeler (Frontend)

Projects within Metanome

  • Unique column combination discovery
    As prerequisite for unique constraints and keys, UCCs are a basic piece of metadata for any table. The problem is of particular complexity when regarding the exponential number of column combinations. We adress the problem by parallelization and pruning strategies.
    This work is in collaboration with QCRI
  • Inclusion dependency discovery
    As prerequisite of foreign keys, INDs can tell us how tables within a schema can be connected. When regarding tables of different data sources, conditional IND discovery is of particular relevance.
    See also the completed Aladin project and publications by Jana Bauckmann et al., in particular our Spider algorithm.
  • Incremental dependency discovery
    We are extending our work on UCC and IND discovery to tables that receive incremental updates. The goal is to avoid a complete re-computation and restrict processing to relevant columns, records, and dependencies.
  • Profiling and Mining RDF data
    The <subject, predicate, object> data model of RDF necessitates new approaches to basic profiling and data mining methods. 
    See also: ProLOD++ demo
  • Functional dependency discovery
    Functional dependencies express relationships between attributes of a database relation and are extensively used in data analysis and database design, especially schema normalization. We contribute to research in this area by evaluating current state-of-the-art algorithms and developing faster and more scalable approaches.
    See also: FD algorithms
  • Order dependency discovery
    Order dependencies (ODs) describe a relationship of order between lists of attributes in a relational table. ODs can help to understand the semantics of datasets and the appli- cations producing them. The existence of an OD in a table can provide hints on which integrity constraints are valid for the domain of the data at hand. Moreover, order dependen- cies have applications in the field of query optimization by suggesting query rewrites.
    See also: OD algorithms

Teaching Data Profiling

Student projects

  • Master's project "Profiling Dynamic Data" (4 students, winter 16/17)
  • Master's project "Approximate Data Profiling" (10 students, summer 2015)
  • Master's project "Metadata Trawling" (4 students, winter 14/15)
  • Master's project "Joint Data Profiling" (4 students, winter 13/14)
  • Master's project "Piggy-back Profiling" (6 students, winter 13/14)
  • Bachelor's project "ProCSIA: Profiling column stores with IBM's Information Analyzer" (8 students, summer 2011)

Current and past master theses

  • Please see these links for ongoing and completed master's theses, many of which are in the data profiling area. All theses are available as pdf - just contact Felix Naumann.



Advancing the Discovery of Unique Column Combinations

Ziawasch Abedjan, Felix Naumann
Technical Report 51, Hasso-Plattner-Institut für Softwaresystemtechnik an der Universität Potsdam, 2011 ISBN 978-3-86956-148-6, ISSN 1613-5652

BibTeX file

author = { Ziawasch Abedjan, Felix Naumann },
title = { Advancing the Discovery of Unique Column Combinations },
year = { 2011 },
number = { 51 },
month = { 0 },
note = { ISBN 978-3-86956-148-6, ISSN 1613-5652 },
institution = { Hasso-Plattner-Institut f{\"u}r Softwaresystemtechnik an der Universit{\"a}t Potsdam },
priority = { 0 }

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last change: Fri, 17 Apr 2015 11:17:43 +0200