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Meuss, Holger; Schulz, Klaus U.; Weigel, Felix; Leonardi, Simone; Bry, François (1. March 2005): Visual exploration and retrieval of XML document collections with the generic system X2. In: International Journal on Digital Libraries, Vol. 5, No. 1: pp. 3-17




This article reports on the XML retrieval system X2 which has been developed at the University of Munich over the last five years. In a typical session with X2, the user first browses a structural summary of the XML database in order to select interesting elements and keywords occurring in documents. Using this intermediate result, queries combining structure and textual references are composed semiautomatically. After query evaluation, the full set of answers is presented in a visual and structured way. X2 largely exploits the structure found in documents, queries and answers to enable new interactive visualization and exploration techniques that support mixed IR and database-oriented querying, thus bridging the gap between these three views on the data to be retrieved. Another salient characteristic of X2 which distinguishes it from other visual query systems for XML is that it supports various degrees of detailedness in the presentation of answers, as well as techniques for dynamically reordering and grouping retrieved elements once the complete answer set has been computed.