A Hybrid Approach for XML Similarity

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In the past few years, XML has been established as an effective means for information management, and has been widely exploited for complex data representation. Owing to an unparalleled increasing use of the XML standard, developing efficient techniques for comparing XML-based documents becomes essential in information retrieval (IR) research. Various algorithms for comparing hierarchically structured data, e.g. XML documents, have been proposed in the literature. However, to our knowledge, most of them focus exclusively on comparing documents based on structural features, overlooking the semantics involved. In this paper, we integrate IR semantic similarity assessment in an edit distance algorithm, seeking to amend similarity judgments when comparing XML-based documents. Our approach comprises of an original edit distance operation cost model, introducing semantic relatedness of XML element/attribute labels, in traditional edit distance computations. A prototype has been developed to evaluate our model’s performance. Experiments yielded notable results.