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Summarization of hierarchical data and metadata is a fundamental operation in applications in many domains. In particular, similarity search of hierarchical data, such as XML, would benefit greatly from concise and indexable summaries. This is especially true in P2P scenarios, where the search needs to be done in a distributed fashion on multiple peers. This situation requires summaries which are small, yet effective in identifying potential peers that need to be further explored. In this paper, the authors propose a method, called Propagation-Vectors for Trees (PVT) which constructs very concise and accurate summaries of hierarchical data, such as XML trees.
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