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A semantic-syntax model for XML query construction

Keng Hoon Gan (School of Computer Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia)
Keat Keong Phang (Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

International Journal of Web Information Systems

ISSN: 1744-0084

Article publication date: 19 June 2017




When accessing structured contents in XML form, information requests are formulated in the form of special query languages such as NEXI, Xquery, etc. However, it is not easy for end users to compose such information requests using these special queries because of their complexities. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to automate the construction of such queries from common query like keywords or form-based queries.


In this paper, the authors address the problem of constructing queries for XML retrieval by proposing a semantic-syntax query model that can be used to construct different types of structured queries. First, a generic query structure known as semantic query structure is designed to store query contents given by user. Then, generation of a target language is carried out by mapping the contents in semantic query structure to query syntax templates stored in knowledge base.


Evaluations were carried out based on how well information needs are captured and transformed into a target query language. In summary, the proposed model is able to express information needs specified using query like NEXI. Xquery records a lower percentage because of its language complexity. The authors also achieve satisfactory query construction rate with an example-based method, i.e. 86 per cent (for NEXI IMDB topics) and 87 per cent (NEXI Wiki topics), respectively, compare to benchmark of 78 per cent by Sumita and Iida in language translation.


The proposed semantic-syntax query model allows flexibility of accommodating new query language by separating the semantic of query from its syntax.



Gan, K.H. and Phang, K.K. (2017), "A semantic-syntax model for XML query construction", International Journal of Web Information Systems, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 155-172.



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