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Bry, François; Furche, Tim and Linse, Benedikt (2006): Data Model and Query Constructs for Versatile Web Query Languages. State-of-the-Art and Challenges for Xcerpt. PPSWR 2006, 4th International Workshop Principles and Practice of Semantic Web Reasoning, Budva, Montenegro, 10. - 11. Juni 2006. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Berlin u.a.: Springer. pp. 90-104 [PDF, 230kB]


As the Semantic Web is gaining momentum, the need for truly versatile query languages becomes increasingly apparent. A Web query language is called versatile if it can access in the same query program data in different formats (e.g. XML and RDF). Most query languages are not versatile: they have not been specifically designed to cope with both worlds, providing a uniform language and common constructs to query and transform data in various formats. Moreover, most of them do not provide a flexible data model that is powerful enough to naturally convey both Semantic Web data formats (especially RDF and Topic Maps) and XML. This article highlights challenges related to the data model and language constructs for querying both standard Web and Semantic Web data with an emphasis on facilitating sophisticated reasoning. It is shown that Xcerpt’s data model and querying constructs are particularly well-suited for the Semantic Web, but that some adjustments of the Xcerpt syntax allow for even more effective and natural querying of RDF and Topic Maps.

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