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A prime motivation for using XML to directly represent pieces of information is the ability of supporting ad-hoc or 'schema-later' settings. In such scenarios, modeling data under loose data constraints is essential. Of course, the flexibility of XML comes at a price: the absence of a rigid, regular, and homogeneous structure makes many aspects of data management more challenging. Such malleable data formats can also lead to severe information quality problems, because the risk of storing inconsistent and incorrect data is greatly increased. A prominent example of such problems is the appearance of the so-called fuzzy duplicates, i.e., multiple and non-identical representations of a real-world entity. Similarity joins correlating XML document fragments that are similar can be used as core operators to support the identification of fuzzy duplicates. However, similarity assessment is especially difficult on XML datasets because structure, besides textual information, may exhibit variations in document fragments representing the same real-world entity. Moreover, similarity computation is substantially more expensive for tree-structured objects and, thus, is a serious performance concern. This thesis describes the design and implementation of an effective, flexible, and high-performance XML-based similarity join framework. As main contributions, we present novel structure-conscious similarity functions for XML trees - either considering XML structure in isolation or combined with textual information -, mechanisms to support the selection of relevant information from XML trees and organization of this information into a suitable format for similarity calculation, and efficient algorithms for large-scale identification of similar, set-represented objects. Finally, we validate the applicability of our techniques by integrating our framework into a native XML database management system; in this context we address several issues around the integration of similarity operations into traditional database architectures.

Tropical intersection theory
(2010)

This thesis consists of five chapters: Chapter 1 contains the basics of the theory and is essential for the rest of the thesis. Chapters 2-5 are to a large extent independent of each other and can be read separately. - Chapter 1: Foundations of tropical intersection theory In this first chapter we set up the foundations of a tropical intersection theory covering many concepts and tools of its counterpart in algebraic geometry such as affine tropical cycles, Cartier divisors, morphisms of tropical cycles, pull-backs of Cartier divisors, push-forwards of cycles and an intersection product of Cartier divisors and cycles. Afterwards, we generalize these concepts to abstract tropical cycles and introduce a concept of rational equivalence. Finally, we set up an intersection product of cycles and prove that every cycle is rationally equivalent to some affine cycle in the special case that our ambient cycle is R^n. We use this result to show that rational and numerical equivalence agree in this case and prove a tropical Bézout's theorem. - Chapter 2: Tropical cycles with real slopes and numerical equivalence In this chapter we generalize our definitions of tropical cycles to polyhedral complexes with non-rational slopes. We use this new definition to show that if our ambient cycle is a fan then every subcycle is numerically equivalent to some affine cycle. Finally, we restrict ourselves to cycles in R^n that are "generic" in some sense and study the concept of numerical equivalence in more detail. - Chapter 3: Tropical intersection products on smooth varieties We define an intersection product of tropical cycles on tropical linear spaces L^n_k and on other, related fans. Then, we use this result to obtain an intersection product of cycles on any "smooth" tropical variety. Finally, we use the intersection product to introduce a concept of pull-backs of cycles along morphisms of smooth tropical varieties and prove that this pull-back has all expected properties. - Chapter 4: Weil and Cartier divisors under tropical modifications First, we introduce "modifications" and "contractions" and study their basic properties. After that, we prove that under some further assumptions a one-to-one correspondence of Weil and Cartier divisors is preserved by modifications. In particular we can prove that on any smooth tropical variety we have a one-to-one correspondence of Weil and Cartier divisors. - Chapter 5: Chern classes of tropical vector bundles We give definitions of tropical vector bundles and rational sections of tropical vector bundles. We use these rational sections to define the Chern classes of such a tropical vector bundle. Moreover, we prove that these Chern classes have all expected properties. Finally, we classify all tropical vector bundles on an elliptic curve up to isomorphisms.