From Entity Relationship to XML Schema: A Graph-Theoretic Approach

Abstract

We propose a mapping from the Enhanced Entity Relationship conceptual model to the W3C XML Schema Language with the following properties: information and integrity constraints are preserved, no redundance is introduced, different hierarchical views of the conceptual information are available, the resulting XML structure is highly connected, and the design is reversible. We investigate two different ways to nest the XML structure: a maximum connectivity nesting, that minimizes the number of schema constraints used in the mapping of the conceptual schema reducing the validation overhead, and a maximum depth nesting, that keeps low the number of (expensive) join operations that are necessary to reconstruct the information at query time using the mapped schema. We propose a graph-theoretic linear-time algorithm to find a maximum connectivity nesting and show that finding a maximum depth nesting is NP-complete. We complement our investigation with an implementation of the devised translation and we embed the implemented module in a software framework for the conceptual and logical design of spatio-temporal databases.

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