Correcting queries for XML

Sara Cohen*, Tali Brodianskiy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


It has been observed that queries over XML data sources are often unsatisfiable. Unsatisfiability may stem from several different sources, e.g., the user may be insufficiently familiar with the labels appearing the documents, or may not be intimately aware of the hierarchical structure of the documents. To deal with query and document mismatches, previous research has considered returning answers that maximally satisfy (in some sense) the query, instead of only returning strictly satisfying answers. However, this breaks the golden database rule that only strictly satisfying answers are returned when querying. Indeed, the relationship between the query and answers is no longer clear, when unsatisfying answers are returned. To reinstate the golden database rule, this article proposes a framework for automatically correcting queries over XML. This framework generates similar satisfiable queries, when the user query is unsatisfiable. The user can then choose a satisfiable query of interest, and receive exactly satisfying answers to this query.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)690-710
Number of pages21
JournalInformation Systems
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was partially supported by the Israel Science Foundation (Grant no. 1032/05). The authors thank the anonymous referees for their helpful comments.


  • Inexact querying
  • Query correction
  • XML


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