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A number of languages have been developed for specifying XML publishing, i.e., transformations of relational data into XML trees. These languages generally describe the behaviors of a middle-ware controller that builds an output tree iteratively, issuing queries to a relational source and expanding the tree with the query results at each step. To study the complexity and expressive power of XML publishing languages, this paper proposes a notion of publishing transducers which generate XML trees from relational data. The authors study a variety of publishing transducers based on what relational queries a transducer can issue, what temporary stores a transducer can use during tree generation, and whether or not some tree nodes are allowed to be virtual, i.e., excluded from the output tree.
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