Keyword search in databases: The power of RDBMS

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Conference Proceeding
SIGMOD-PODS'09 - Proceedings of the International Conference on Management of Data and 28th Symposium on Principles of Database Systems, 2009, pp. 681 - 693
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Keyword search in relational databases (RDBs) has been extensively studied recently. A keyword search (or a keyword query) in RDBs is specified by a set of keywords to explore the interconnected tuple structures in an RDB that cannot be easily identified using SQL on RDBMSs. In brief, it finds how the tuples containing the given keywords are connected via sequences of connections (foreign key references) among tuples in an RDB. Such interconnected tuple structures can be found as connected trees up to a certain size, sets of tuples that are reachable from a root tuple within a radius, or even multi-center subgraphs within a radius. In the literature, there are two main approaches. One is to generate a set of relational algebra expressions and evaluate every such expression using SQL on an RDBMS directly or in a middleware on top of an RDBMS indirectly. Due to a large number of relational algebra expressions needed to process, most of the existing works take a middleware approach without fully utilizing RDBMSs. The other is to materialize an RDB as a graph and find the interconnected tuple structures using graph-based algorithms in memory. In this paper we focus on using SQL to compute all the interconnected tuple structures for a given keyword query. We use three types of interconnected tuple structures to achieve that and we control the size of the structures. We show that the current commercial RDBMSs are powerful enough to support such keyword queries in RDBs efficiently without any additional new indexing to be built and maintained. The main idea behind our approach is tuple reduction. In our approach, in the first reduction step, we prune tuples that do not participate in any results using SQL, and in the second join step, we process the relational algebra expressions using SQL over the reduced relations. We conducted extensive experimental studies using two commercial RDBMSs and two large real datasets, and we report the efficiency of our approaches in this paper. © 2009 ACM.
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