Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2018 Edition
| Editors: Ling Liu, M. Tamer Özsu

Semi-structured Data

  • Serge AbiteboulEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_799


XML (almost)


A semi-structured data model is based on an organization of data in labeled trees (possibly graphs) and on query languages for accessing and updating data. The labels capture the structural information. Since these models are considered in the context of data exchange, they typically propose some form of data serialization, i.e., a standard representation of data in files. Indeed, the most successful such model, namely XML (that is promoted by the W3C), is often confused with its serialization syntax. XML equipped with query/update language [10] is a semi-structured data model.

Semi-structured data models are meant to represent from very structured to very unstructured information, and in particular, irregular data. In a structured data model such as the relational model [9], one distinguishes between the type of the data (schema in relational terminology) and the data itself (instance in relational terminology). In semi-structured data models, this...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Recommended Reading

  1. 1.
    Abiteboul S, Buneman P, Suciu D. Data on the web: from relations to semistructured data and XML. San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann; 1999.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Abiteboul S, Cluet S, Christophides V, Milo T, Moerkotte G, Simeon J. Querying documents in object databases. Int J Digit Libr. 1997;1(1):5–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Abiteboul S, Quass D, McHugh J, Widom J, Wiener J. The Lorel query language for semistructured data. Int J Digit Libr. 1997;1(1):68–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Buneman P, Davidson S, Suciu D. Programming constructs for unstructured data. In: Proceeding of the 5th International Workshop on Database Programming Languages; 1995.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Cattell RGG. The object database standard: ODMG-93. San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers; 1994.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Papakonstantinou Y, Garcia-Molina H, Widom J. Object exchange across heterogeneous information sources. In: Proceeding of the 11th International Conferences on Data Engineering; 1995. p. 251–60.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Specification of Abstraction Syntax Notation One (ASN.1), ISO Standard 8824, Information Processing System. 1987.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML), ISO 8879. 1986.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ullman JD. Principles of database and knowledge-base systems, vol. I: classical database systems. Computer science. 1988.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    XQuery. XQuery 1.0: An XML query language. http://www.w3.org/TR/Xquery.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.InriaParisFrance

Section editors and affiliations

  • Sihem Amer-Yahia
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire d'Informatique de GrenobleCNRS and LIGGrenobleFrance