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datakon2003 - An interactive approach to rulebased...

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An interactive approach to rule–based transformation of XML documents * Marek R ŮŽIČKA , Vojtěch S VÁTEK Department of Information and Knowledge Engineering, University of Economics, Prague Nám. W. Churchilla 4, 130 67 Praha 3, Czech Republic [email protected] [email protected] Abstract. Transformation of XML documents is typically understood as non- interactive. In contrast, we formulate the specific task of XML–based transformation of knowledge contained in semi–formal documents, which heavily depends on human understanding of element content and thus requires frequent user intervention. Yet, many aspects of this process are pre- determined, and their automation is highly desirable. We implemented a software tool (called Stepper) supporting interactive step–by–step transformation of ‚knowledge blocks‘. The transformation is governed by rules expressed in a new ‘interactive transformation’ language (called XKBT), while its non–interactive aspects are handled by embedded XSLT rules. Keywords: XML, transformation, document content. 1 Introduction Abundant use of XML-based mark–up languages in the last years obviated the need for a related but distinct type of languages: those defining transformations from one mark–up language to the other [5, 5, 5] or from a mark–up language to a different (e.g. relational) representation and vice versa [5, 5]. Transformations are typically content–independent (or, merely depend on syntactical properties of the content), and thus can be performed fully automatically. In this paper, in contrast, we consider the situation when the transformation result depends on semantic (machine–undetectable) distinctions of marked–up content . The transformation thus has to rely on co– operation between an interactive software tool and a human user. A prototypical situation arose in our original domain of interest: computerised clinical guidelines , where the need for transformation of mark–up structures emerges in two distinct flavours. First, the original free text of the guideline document (defining the recommended course of actions to be undertaken by the physician if a particular disease is encountered with the patient) has to be converted to a more formal representation [5]. Second, several formal models (with existing XML syntax) of computerised guidelines have been developed, and knowledge has to be transferred * The research has been partially supported by project no. 201/00/D045 of the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic, ‘Construction of knowledge models in connection with text documents’. Lubos Popelínský (ed.), DATAKON 2003, Brno, 18.-21. 10. 2003, pp. 1-5.
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An interactive approach to rule-based transformation of XML documents between them (for a comparative overview of guideline models, see [5]). In both situations, ambiguities arise that have to be resolved by human user, often even by a clinical expert. Yet, many sub–processes can be automated, and even for the remaining ones, the user should not have full freedom to manipulate the XML structures. Support for interactive but foreseeable transformation is thus needed.
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