The NESTOR Framework: how to Handle Hierarchical Data Structures
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In this paper we study the problem of representing, managing and exchanging hierarchically structured data in the context of a Digital Library (DL). We present the NEsted SeTs for Object hieRarchies (NESTOR) framework defining two set data models that we call: the “Nested Set Model (NS-M)” and the “Inverse Nested Set Model (INSM)” based on the organization of nested sets which enable the representation of hierarchical data structures. We present the mapping between the tree data structure to NS-M and to INS-M. Furthermore, we shall show how these set data models can be used in conjunction with Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) adding new functionalities to the protocol without any change to its basic functioning. At the end we shall present how the couple OAI-PMH and the set data models can be used to represent and exchange archival metadata in a distributed environment.