Faculty Advisor

Michael Gennert

Faculty Advisor

Ashok Malhotra

Faculty Advisor

Wang-Chien Lee

Faculty Advisor

Elke A. Rundensteiner

Faculty Advisor

Carolina Ruiz

Faculty Advisor

Dan Dougherty


With the advent of XML, great challenges arise from the demand for efficiently retrieving information from remote XML sources across the Internet. The semantic caching technology can help to improve the efficiency of XML query processing in the Web environment. Different from the traditional tuple or page-based caching systems, semantic caching systems exploit the idea of reusing cached query results to answer new queries based on the query containment and rewriting techniques. Fundamental results on the containment of relational queries have been established. In the XML setting, the containment problem remains unexplored for comprehensive XML query languages such as XQuery, and little has been studied with respect to the cache management issue such as replacement. Hence, this dissertation addresses two issues fundamental to building an XQuery-based semantic caching system: XQuery containment and rewriting, and an effective replacement strategy. We first define a restricted XQuery fragment for which the containment problem is tackled. For two given queries $Q1$ and $Q2$, a preprocessing step including variable minimization and query normalization is taken to transform them into a normal form. Then two tree structures are constructed for respectively representing the pattern matching and result construction components of the query semantics. Based on the tree structures, query containment is reduced to tree homomorphism, with some specific mapping conditions. Important notations and theorems are also presented to support our XQuery containment and rewriting approaches. For the cache replacement, we propose a fine-grained replacement strategy based on the detailed user access statistics recorded on the internal XML view structure. As a result, less frequently used XML view fragments are replaced to achieve a better utilization of the cache space. Finally, we has implemented a semantic caching system called ACE-XQ to realize the proposed techniques. Case studies are conducted to confirm the correctness of our XQuery containment and rewriting approaches by comparing the query results produced by utilizing ACE-XQ against those by the remote XQuery engine. Experimental studies show that the query performance is significantly improved by adopting ACE-XQ, and that our partial replacement helps to enhance the cache hits and utilization comparing to the traditional total replacement.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Computer Science

Project Type


Date Accepted





Replacement Strategy, Query Rewriting, Query Containment, Semantic Caching, Query, XML, XML (Document markup language), Cache memory, Query languages (Computer science)