Using versioned trees, change detection and node identity for three-way XML merging

  • Thao C
  • Munson E
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Abstract

XML has become the standard document representation for many popular tools in various domains. When multiple authors collaborate to produce a document, they must be able to work in parallel and periodically merge their efforts into a single work. While there exist a small number of three-way XML merging tools, their performance could be improved in several areas and they lack any form of user interface for resolving conflicts. In this paper, we present an implementation of a three-way XML merge algorithm that is faster, uses less memory and is more precise than existing tools. It uses a specialized versioning tree data structure that supports node identity and change detection. The algorithm applies the traditional three-way merge found in GNU diff3 to the children of changed nodes. The editing operations it supports are addition, deletion, update, and move. A graphical interface for visualizing and resolving conflicts is also provided. An evaluation experiment was conducted comparing the proposed algorithm with three other tools on randomly generated XML data.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Algorithm
  • Collaborative editing
  • Data structures
  • Three-way merge
  • Versioning system
  • XML

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Authors

  • Cheng Thao

  • Ethan V. Munson

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