Table identification and reconstruction in spreadsheets
Document typeConference report
Rights accessOpen Access
Spreadsheets are one of the most successful content generation tools, used in almost every enterprise to perform data transformation, visualization, and analysis. The high degree of freedom provided by these tools results in very complex sheets, intermingling the actual data with formatting, formulas, layout artifacts, and textual metadata. To unlock the wealth of data contained in spreadsheets, a human analyst will often have to understand and transform the data manually. To overcome this cumbersome process, we propose a framework that is able to automatically infer the structure and extract the data from these documents in a canonical form. In this paper, we describe our heuristics-based method for discovering tables in spreadsheets, given that each cell is classified as either header, attribute, metadata, data, or derived. Experimental results on a real-world dataset of 439 worksheets (858 tables) show that our approach is feasible and effectively identifies tables within partially structured spreadsheets.
CitationKoci, E., Thiele, M., Romero, O., Lehner, W. Table identification and reconstruction in spreadsheets. A: International Conference on Advanced Information Systems Engineering. "Advanced Information Systems Engineering: 29th International Conference, CAiSE 2017: Essen, Germany, June 12-16, 2017: proceedings". Essen: Springer, 2017, p. 527-541.