Combining Offline and On-the-fly Disambiguation to perform Semantic-aware XML Querying

Joe Tekli1, Gilbert Tekli2 and Richard Chbeir3

  1. School of Engineering, ECE dept., Lebanese American University,
    36 Byblos, Lebanon
  2. Faculty of Technology, Mechatronics dept., University of Balamand
    100 Tripoli, Lebanon
  3. LIUPPA Lab., IUT de Bayonne, University of Pau and Pays Adour
    64000 Anglet, France


Many efforts have been deployed by the IR community to extend freetext query processing toward semi-structured XML search. Most methods rely on the concept of Lowest Comment Ancestor (LCA) between two or multiple structural nodes to identify the most specific XML elements containing query keywords posted by the user. Yet, few of the existing approaches consider XML semantics, and the methods that process semantics generally rely on computationally expensive word sense disambiguation (WSD) techniques, or apply semantic analysis in one stage only: performing query relaxation/refinement over the bag of words retrieval model, to reduce processing time. In this paper, we describe a new approach for XML keyword search aiming to solve the limitations mentioned above. Our solution first transforms the XML document collection (offline) and the keyword query (on-the-fly) into meaningful semantic representations using context-based and global disambiguation methods, specially designed to allow almost linear computation efficiency. We use a semantic-aware inverted index to allow semantic-aware search, result selection, and result ranking functionality. The semantically augmented XML data tree is processed for structural node clustering, based on semantic query concepts (i.e., key-concepts), in order to identify and rank candidate answer sub-trees containing related occurrences of query key-concepts. Dedicated weighting functions and various search algorithms have been developed for that purpose and will be presented here. Experimental results highlight the quality and potential of our approach.

Key words

Semi-structured data, XML, Semantic Disambiguation, Keyword Search, Query Processing

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Publication information

Volume 20, Issue 1 (January 2023)
Year of Publication: 2023
ISSN: 2406-1018 (Online)
Publisher: ComSIS Consortium

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How to cite

Tekli, J., Tekli, G., Chbeir, R.: Combining Offline and On-the-fly Disambiguation to perform Semantic-aware XML Querying. Computer Science and Information Systems, Vol. 20, No. 1, 423–457. (2023),