The eXtensible Markup Language (XML) was designed to describe the content of a document and its hierarchical structure, and the XML Path language (XPath) is a language for selecting elements from XML documents. There is a close connection between the query processing problem for XPath and the model checking problem for temporal logics. Both boil down to checking which nodes of a graph satisfy a property. We investigate the potential of a technique based on computation tree logic (CTL) model checking for evaluating queries expressed in (a subset of) XPath. To this aim, we isolate a simple fragment of XPath that is naturally embeddable into CTL. We report on experiments based on the model checker NuSMV, and compare our results with alternative academic XPath processors. We comment on the advantages and drawbacks of the application of our model checking-based approach to XPath processing.
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