Reverse Engineering from an XML Document into an Extended DTD Graph

Reverse Engineering from an XML Document into an Extended DTD Graph

Herbert Shiu (City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong) and Joseph Fong (City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-060-8.ch075
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Abstract

The extensible markup language (XML) has become a standard for persistent storage and data interchange via the Internet due to its openness, self-descriptiveness, and flexibility. This article proposes a systematic approach to reverse engineer arbitrary XML documents to their conceptual schema, extended DTD graphs, which are DTD graphs with data semantics. The proposed approach not only determines the structure of the XML document, but also derives candidate data semantics from the XML element instances by treating each XML element instance as a record in a table of a relational database. One application of the determined data semantics is to verify the linkages among elements. Implicit and explicit referential linkages are among XML elements modeled by the parent-children structure and ID/IDREF(S), respectively. As a result, an arbitrary XML document can be reverse engineered into its conceptual schema in an extended DTD graph format.

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