Dr. Nikolaus Augsten

(Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy)

"TASM: Top-k Approximate Subtree Matching"

With the popularity of XML repositories has come the need for efficient techniques to match XML trees based on their similarity. This talk presents our work on the Top-k Approximate Subtree Matching (TASM) problem: finding the k best matches of a small query tree, e.g., an article represented as an XML tree with 15 nodes, in a large document tree, e.g., the DBLP online bibliography with 26M nodes, using the canonical tree edit distance as a similarity measure between subtrees. Evaluating the tree edit distance for large XML trees is difficult: the best known algorithms have cubic runtime and quadratic space complexity, and, thus, do not scale.

Our solution is TASM-postorder, a memory-efficient and scalable TASM algorithm. We prove an upper- bound for the maximum subtree size for which the tree edit distance needs to be evaluated. The upper bound depends on the query and is independent of the document size and structure. A core problem is to efficiently prune subtrees that are above this size threshold. We develop an algorithm based on the prefix ring buffer that allows us to prune all subtrees above the threshold in a single postorder scan of the document. The size of the prefix ring buffer is linear in the threshold. As a result, the space complexity of TASM-postorder depends only on k and the query size, and the runtime of TASM-postorder is linear in the size of the document. Our experimental evaluation on large synthetic and real XML documents confirms our analytic results.

This work received the Best Paper Award at the IEEE International Conference on Data Engineering (ICDE 2010).

Short Bio: Nikolaus Augsten is an assistant professor in computer science at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy. He received his PhD from Aalborg University, Denmark, in 2008. His research interests include data-centric applications in database and information systems with a particular focus on approximate matching techniques for complex data structures, efficient index structures for distance computations, and similarity search in massive data collections.

Zeit: Montag, 24.01.2011, 17.15 Uhr
Ort: Gebäude 48, Raum 210