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Reports (Research Report) Year : 2006

A Decision Procedure for XPath Containment

Pierre Genevès
Nabil Layaïda


XPath is the standard language for addressing parts of an XML document. We present a sound and complete decision procedure for containment of XPath queries. The considered XPath fragment covers most of the language features used in practice. Specifically, we show how XPath queries can be translated into equivalent formulas in monadic second-order logic. Using this translation, we construct an optimized logical formulation of the containment problem, which is decided using tree automata. When the containment relation does not hold between two XPath expressions, a counter-example XML tree is generated. We provide a complexity analysis together with practical experiments that illustrate the efficiency of the decision procedure for realistic scenarios.


Other [cs.OH]
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Dates and versions

inria-00070159 , version 1 (19-05-2006)


  • HAL Id : inria-00070159 , version 1


Pierre Genevès, Nabil Layaïda. A Decision Procedure for XPath Containment. [Research Report] RR-5867, INRIA. 2006, pp.41. ⟨inria-00070159⟩
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