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Modular Web Queries – From Rules to Stores

2007 workshop paper

In Proc. of 3rd International Workshop on Scalable Semantic Web Knowledge Base Systems (SSWS’07)
with: Jakob Henriksson, Florian Heidenreich, Steffen Zschaler, and Uwe Aßmann.

Even with all the progress in Semantic technology, accessing Web data remains a challenging issue with new Web query languages and approaches appearing regularly. Yet most of these languages, including W3C approaches such as XQuery and SPARQL, do little to cope with the explosion of the data size and schemata diversity and richness on the Web. In this paper we propose a straightforward step toward the improvement of this situation that is simple to realize and yet effective: Advanced module systems that make partitioning of (a) the evaluation and (b) the conceptual design of complex Web queries possible. They provide the query programmer with a powerful, but easy to use high-level abstraction for packaging, encapsulating, and reusing conceptually related parts (in our case, rules) of a Web query. The proposed module system combines ease of use thanks to a simple core concept, the partitioning of rules and their consequences in flexible “stores”, with ease of deployment thanks to a reduction semantics. We focus on extending the rule-based Semantic Web query language Xcerpt with such a module system though the same approach can be applied to other (rule-based) languages as well.