An object-oriented database system for efficient information retrieval applications

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Virginia Tech

This dissertation deals with the application of object-oriented database techniques to the problem of storage and access of information retrieval (IR) data, especially data that can be organized as a graph, such as a thesaurus encoded in semantic networks, or hypertext collections. Even traditional IR models can use graph representations of documents and concepts.

This dissertation reports the development of an object-oriented model called the LEND (Large External object-oriented Network Database) model. This model contains not only features found in a typical object-oriented model but also those that specifically are designed for graph-structured data. A query language is provided facilitating the specification of graph-oriented queries.

A prototype LEND system has been implemented to test the model on realistic graph-structured data. It adopts an open system architecture and design, and is easily extensible, like the LEND model itself. The research result of suitable data structures and algorithms (a class of minimal perfect hashing functions) for the efficient implementation of the LEND model is also reported. These data structures and algorithms enable retrieval of a node or a set of nodes in an optimal fashion. Placement of a large graph on a disk is studied as well. The method developed permits efficient traversal of graphs.