A Method for Mapping XML DTD to Relational Schemas In The Presence Of Functional Dependencies
Ahmad, Kamsuriah (2008) A Method for Mapping XML DTD to Relational Schemas In The Presence Of Functional Dependencies. PhD thesis, Universiti Putra Malaysia.
The eXtensible Markup Language (XML) has recently emerged as a standard for data representation and interchange on the web. As a lot of XML data in the web, now the pressure is to manage the data efficiently. Given the fact that relational databases are the most widely used technology for managing and storing XML, therefore XML needs to map to relations and this process is one that occurs frequently. There are many different ways to map and many approaches exist in the literature especially considering the flexible nesting structures that XML allows. This gives rise to the following important problem: Are some mappings ‘better’ than the others? To approach this problem, the classical relational database design through normalization technique that based on known functional dependency concept is referred. This concept is used to specify the constraints that may exist in the relations and guide the design while removing semantic data redundancies. This approach leads to a good normalized relational schema without data redundancy. To achieve a good normalized relational schema for XML, there is a need to extend the concept of functional dependency in relations to XML and use this concept as guidance for the design. Even though there exist functional dependency definitions for XML, but these definitions are not standard yet and still having several limitation. Due to the limitations of the existing definitions, constraints in the presence of shared and local elements that exist in XML document cannot be specified. In this study a new definition of functional dependency constraints for XML is proposed that are general enough to specify constraints and to discover semantic redundancies in XML documents. The focus of this study is on how to produce an optimal mapping approach in the presence of XML functional dependencies (XFD), keys and Data Type Definition (DTD) constraints, as a guidance to generate a good relational schema. To approach the mapping problem, three different components are explored: the mapping algorithm, functional dependency for XML, and implication process. The study of XML implication is important to imply what other dependencies that are guaranteed to hold in a relational representation of XML, given that a set of functional dependencies holds in the XML document. This leads to the needs of deriving a set of inference rules for the implication process. In the presence of DTD and userdefined XFD, other set of XFDs that are guaranteed to hold in XML can be generated using the set of inference rules. This mapping algorithm has been developed within the tool called XtoR. The quality of the mapping approach has been analyzed, and the result shows that the mapping approach (XtoR) significantly improve in terms of generating a good relational schema for XML with respect to reduce data and relation redundancy, remove dangling relations and remove association problems. The findings suggest that if one wants to use RDBMS to manage XML data, the mapping from XML document to relations must based be on functional dependency constraints.
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