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Method and System for Facilitating Faceted Interaction with XML Data

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000202345D
Publication Date: 2010-Dec-14
Document File: 4 page(s) / 174K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

A method and system for facilitating faceted interaction with XML data is disclosed. The method and system includes generating facets from XML data, enabling identification of XML fragments that satisfy user defined facet constraints and transforming the relevant XML fragments into simple objects having those facets. Further, the method and system also enables reverse transforming the simple objects back to XML data.

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Method and System for Facilitating Faceted Interaction with XML Data

Disclosed is a method and system for facilitating faceted interaction with XML data. Faceted interaction with XML data allows a user to easily navigate XML data and select different portions of the XML data without requiring knowledge of the schema of the XML data or complex query languages. In order to facilitate this interaction, the method and system first generates a list of facets from the XML data. The list is generated by scanning one or more of a schema corresponding to the XML data and one or more instance XML documents. During this scanning, all the distinct elements and attribute names are identified and stored as the list of facets. Additionally, the scanning may also identify and extract facet values corresponding to the facets if one or more instance XML documents are available. Subsequently, one or more of the list of facets and the corresponding facet values are displayed to the user. Thereafter, the user may select one or more facet from the list of facets to retrieve the corresponding portions from the XML data.

In order to generate the list of facets, the method and system includes an XML schema parser. The XML schema parser parses the schema, such as the one illustrated in Fig. 1, to construct a schema tree. The schema tree so constructed indicates parent child relationships and multiplicity values for each relationship as illustrated exemplarily in Fig. 2A and Fig. 2B. Each node in the schema tree is numbered and prefixed with a 'S', indicating that it is a schema node.

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Figure 1

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Figure 2A


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Figure 2B

Subsequently, the nodes of the schema tree are merged to generated a merged schema tree as exemplarily illustrated in Fig.3. The merging is performed by starting from the lowest node in the schema tree and traversing breadth wise up to the root of the schema tree. During the traversal, if a node has maximum occurrence equal to 1 and none of its child has more than one occurrence, then the node and its children are merged to the parent of the node. This merger will help determine what portions of the XML document can be combined into logically same objects. In each such merged node, there will be a parent node and remaining children node of differing depths. In such a merged schema tree, each path from root node to a leaf in the tree will be a facet group. That is, each of the paths is identified as having a single type. Therefore, they are grouped as facet groups. For instance, from the merged schema tree illustrated in Fig. 3, the following faceted group is identified:

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FG1 = {1, 1.1, 1.1.2, 1.1.3, 1.1.4, 1.1.1, 1.1.1.1, 1.1.1.1.1, 1.1.1.1.2, 1.1.1.1.3}

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Figure 3

Subsequently, when a user spe...