Adding Structure to Unstructured Data

Peter Buneman, Susan Davidson, Mary Fernandez, Dan Suciu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We develop a new schema for unstructured data. Traditional schemas resemble the type systems of programming languages. For unstructured data, however, the underlying type may be much less constrained and hence an alternative way of expressing constraints on the data is needed. Here, we propose that both data and schema be represented as edge-labeled graphs. We develop notions of conformance between a graph database and a graph schema and show that there is a natural and efficiently computable ordering on graph schemas. We then examine certain subclasses of schemas and show that schemas are closed under query applications. Finally, we discuss how they may be used in query decomposition and optimization.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDatabase Theory — ICDT '97
Subtitle of host publication6th International Conference Delphi, Greece, January 8–10, 1997 Proceedings
PublisherSpringer-Verlag GmbH
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-540-49682-3
ISBN (Print)978-3-540-62222-2
Publication statusPublished - 1997

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
PublisherSpringer Berlin / Heidelberg
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


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