Fast In-Memory XPath Search over Compressed Text and Tree Indexes

Diego Arroyuelo, Francisco Claude, Sebastian Maneth, Veli Mäkinen, Gonzalo Navarro, Kim Nguyễn, Jouni Sirén, and Niko Välimäki

A large fraction of an XML document typically consists of text data. The XPath query language allows text search via the equal, contains, and starts-with predicates. Such predicates can efficiently be implemented using a compressed self-index of the document's text nodes. Most queries, however, contain some parts of querying the text of the document, plus some parts of querying the tree structure. It is therefore a challenge to choose an appropriate evaluation order for a given query, which optimally leverages the execution speeds of the text and tree indexes. Here the SXSI system is introduced; it stores the tree structure of an XML document using a bit array of opening and closing brackets, and stores the text nodes of the document using a global compressed self-index. On top of these indexes sits an XPath query engine that is based on tree automata. The engine uses fast counting queries of the text index in order to dynamically determine whether to evaluate top-down or bottom-up with respect to the tree structure. The resulting system has several advantages over existing systems: (1) on pure tree queries (without text search) such as the XPathMark queries, the SXSI system performs on par or better than the fastest known systems MonetDB and Qizx, (2) on queries that use text search, SXSI outperforms the existing systems by 1-3 orders of magnitude (depending on the size of the result set), and (3) with respect to memory consumption, SXSI outperforms all other systems for counting-only queries.