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The authors describe efficient algorithms for accurately estimating the number of matches of a small node-labeled tree, i.e., a twig, in a large node-labeled tree, using a summary data structure. This problem is of interest for queries on XML and other hierarchical data, to provide query feedback and for cost-based query optimization. The summary data structure scalably represents approximate frequency information about twiglets (i.e., small twigs) in the data tree. Given a twig query, the number of matches is estimated by creating a set of query twiglets, and combining two complementary approaches: Set Hashing, used to estimate the number of matches of each query twiglet, and Maximal Overlap, used to combine the query twiglet estimates into an estimate for the twig query.
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