Optimizing the execution of XSLT stylesheets for querying transformed XML data

Sven Groppe, Jinghua Groppe, Stefan Böttcher, Thomas Wycisk, Le Gruenwald


We have to deal with different data formats whenever data formats evolve or data must be integrated from heterogeneous systems. These data when implemented in XML for data exchange cannot be shared freely among applications without data transformation. A common approach to solve this problem is to convert the entire XML data from their source format to the applications' target formats using the transformations rules specified in XSLT stylesheets. However, in many cases, not all XML data are required to be transformed except for a smaller part described by a user's query (application). In this paper, we present an approach that optimizes the execution time of an XSLT stylesheet for answering a given XPath query by modifying the XSLT stylesheet in such a way that it would (a) capture only the parts in the XML data that are relevant to the query and (b) process only those XSLT instructions that are relevant to the query. We prove the correctness of our optimization approach, analyze its complexity and present experimental results. The experimental results show that our approach performs the best in terms of execution time, especially when many cost-intensive XSLT instructions can be excluded in the XSLT stylesheet.
Original languageEnglish
JournalKnowledge and Information Systems
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)331-391
Number of pages61
Publication statusPublished - 01.03.2009

Research Areas and Centers

  • Centers: Center for Artificial Intelligence Luebeck (ZKIL)
  • Research Area: Intelligent Systems

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 409-06 Information Systems, Process and Knowledge Management
  • 409-04 Operating, Communication, Database and Distributed Systems


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