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A Theory of Translation From Relational Queries to Hierarchical Queries
April 1995 (vol. 7 no. 2)
pp. 228-245

Abstract—In a heterogeneous database system, a query for one type of database system (i.e., a source query) may have to be translated to an equivalent query (or queries) for execution in a different type of database system (i.e., a target query). Usually, for a given source query, there is more than one possible target query translation. Some of them can be executed more efficiently than others by the receiving database system. Developing a translation procedure for each type of database system is time-consuming and expensive. In this paper, we abstract a generic hierarchical database system (GHDBS) which has properties common to database systems whose schema contains hierarchical structures (e.g., System 2000, IMS, and some object-oriented database systems). We develop principles of query translation with GHDBS as the receiving database system. Translation into any specific system can be accomplished by a translation into the general system with refinements to reflect the characteristics of the specific system. We develop rules that guarantee correctness of the target queries, where correctness means that the target query is equivalent to the source query. We also provide rules that can guarantee a minimum number of target queries in cases when one source query needs to be translated to multiple target queries. Since the minimum number of target queries implies the minimum number of times the underlying system will be invoked, efficiency is taken into consideration.

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Index Terms:
database, relational, hierarchical, query translation, heterogeneous system
Citation:
Weiyi Meng, Clement Yu, Won Kim, "A Theory of Translation From Relational Queries to Hierarchical Queries," IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 228-245, April 1995, doi:10.1109/69.382294
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