A survey in indexing and searching XML documents

Wing Pong Robert Luk, Hong Va Leong, Tharam S. Dillon, Alvin T.S. Chan, W. Bruce Croft, James Allan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


XML holds the promise to yield (1) a more precise search by providing additional information in the elements, (2) a better integrated search of documents from heterogeneous sources, (3) a powerful search paradigm using structural as well as content specifications, and (4) data and information exchange to share resources and to support cooperative search. We survey several indexing techniques for XML documents, grouping them into flatfile, semistructured, and structured indexing paradigms. Searching techniques and supporting techniques for searching are reviewed, including full text search and multistage search. Because searching XML documents can be very flexible, various search result presentations are discussed, as well as database and information retrieval system integration and XML query languages. We also survey various retrieval models, examining how they would be used or extended for retrieving XML documents. To conclude the article, we discuss various open issues that XML poses with respect to information retrieval and database research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-437
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Artificial Intelligence


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