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Next: Introduction

Change Detection in Hierarchically Structured Information

Sudarshan S. Chawathe, Anand Rajaraman, Hector Garcia-Molina, and Jennifer Widom
Department of Computer Science
Stanford University
Stanford, California 94305


Detecting and representing changes to data is important for active databases, data warehousing, view maintenance, and version and configuration management. Most previous work in change management has dealt with flat-file and relational data; we focus on hierarchically structured data. Since in many cases changes must be computed from old and new versions of the data, we define the hierarchical change detection problem as the problem of finding a ``minimum-cost edit script'' that transforms one data tree to another, and we present efficient algorithms for computing such an edit script. Our algorithms make use of some key domain characteristics to achieve substantially better performance than previous, general-purpose algorithms. We study the performance of our algorithms both analytically and empirically, and we describe the application of our techniques to hierarchically structured documents.

Sudarshan S. Chawathe
Wed Jun 19 08:22:34 PDT 1996