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Refereed Papers

Track: XML I

Paper Title:
Efficient Evaluation of Generalized Path Pattern Queries on XML Data


Finding the occurrences of structural patterns in XML data is a key operation in XML query processing. Existing algorithms for this operation focus almost exclusively on path-patterns or tree-patterns. Requirements in flexible querying of XML data have motivated recently the introduction of query languages that allow a partial specification of path-patterns in a query. In this paper, we focus on the efficient evaluation of partial path queries, a generalization of path pattern queries. Our approach explicitly deals with repeated labels (that is, multiple occurrences of the same label in a query). We show that partial path queries can be represented as rooted dags for which a topological ordering of the nodes exists. We present three algorithms for the efficient evaluation of these queries under the indexed streaming evaluation model. The first one exploits a structural summary of data to generate a set of path-patterns that together are equivalent to a partial path query. To evaluate these path-patterns, we extend PathStack so that it can work on path-patterns with repeated labels. The second one extracts a spanning tree from the query dag, uses a stack-based algorithm to find the matches of the root-to-leaf paths in the tree, and merge-joins the matches to compute the answer. Finally, the third one exploits multiple pointers of stack entries and a topological ordering of the query dag to apply a stack-based holistic technique. An analysis of the algorithms and extensive experimental evaluation shows that the holistic algorithm outperforms the other ones.

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