Data warehousing and XML

Paul Prescod papresco at
Tue Dec 2 14:55:12 GMT 1997

len bullard wrote:
> Of course XML can be used to create non-ambiguous
> transfer formats (data schlepping).  But Paul,
> a lot of the information that needs to be mined
> is not in relational formats.  

I don't doubt that there are some people in the world who want to "mine"
documents, but I think that they are in the minority, and will be for a
long time. But more important, it makes little sense to me to "mine" XML
data. Even if you wanted to mine your structured document data it will
almost always make sense to load that into the mining tool's internal
data structures. 

Once again, XML is great as the transfer format, but when you get down
to doing your queries, your data mining software should not be parsing
the XML syntax.

> However, let me ask a technical
> question that you can probably answer with a deeper
> technical perspective than mine?  How well can one query
> data (or convert it for that matter) for which one
> has no rigorous schema (of some kind)?

In some cases you can do sophisticated queries on data without a schema,
but you would have to jump through AI hoops. It's not a job I would
apply for, but neural net experts may be able to detect structure in the
chaos. But building the schema first is definately cheaper than trying
to divine the structure later.

 Paul Prescod

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