XML in Scientific Computing

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ISBN 9781466512276
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  • Discusses XML in the context of scientific computing
  • Demonstrates how to use XML/XSL for data processing and numerical computation
  • Compares XML and the standard practices of scientific computer programming
  • Explores ways of saving, importing, and sharing XML data via code written in frequently used programming languages
  • Shows scientists and engineers how they can benefit from ideas developed under the XML framework
  • Provides computer programs on the author’s website


While the extensible markup language (XML) has received a great deal of attention in web programming and software engineering, far less attention has been paid to XML in mainstream computational science and engineering. Correcting this imbalance, XML in Scientific Computing introduces XML to scientists and engineers in a way that illustrates the similarities and differences with traditional programming languages and suggests new ways of saving and sharing the results of scientific calculations.

The author discusses XML in the context of scientific computing, demonstrates how the extensible stylesheet language (XSL) can be used to perform various calculations, and explains how to create and navigate through XML documents using traditional languages such as Fortran, C++, and MATLAB®. A suite of computer programs are available on the author’s website.

Table of Contents

Text and Data Formatting
Text formatting with latex and html
Formatting with xml
Usage and usefulness of xml files
Constraints on structure and form
Xml data processing
Relevance of xml in scientific computing

Xml Essential Grammar
Xml tags
Xml elements
Xml document declaration
Character reference
Language processing instructions
Character data (CDATA)
Xml root element
Xml trees and nodes
Document type definition and schema
Xml namespaces
Xml formatting of computer language instructions

Xml Data Processing with Xsl
Xsl processors
The main program
for-each loops
Extracting data with value-of
Repeated parsing
Extracting element attributes
Conditional blocks
Choose, when, and otherwise
Variables and parameters
Splitting the code
Summary of xsl elements and functions
Passive processing and cascading stylesheets (css)

Computing with Xml/Xsl
Elementary operations
Templates are user-defined functions and subroutines
Further applications of Xslt templates
Square root of a number
Exponential of a number
Natural logarithm of a number
Recursive sequences
Greatest common divisor of two integers
Student roster

Producing and Importing Xml Data

Appendix A: ASCII Code
Appendix B Perl Quick Reference
Appendix C: Summary of Xslt Elements
Appendix D: Functions Called by Xslt Elements


Author Bio(s)

C. Pozrikidis is a professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is well known for his contributions in fluid mechanics and biomechanics, applied mathematics, and scientific computing. He has published numerous research papers and is the author of eight books and the editor of two contributed volumes.

Editorial Reviews

"The book is written in a clear and readable style. It can be recommended to anybody interested in scientific computing in the context of combining classical environments, like MATLAB®, with the XML framework."
—Jaroslav Pokorný, Zentralblatt MATH 1263

"Modern computational science and engineering address realistic multi-physics applications with complex data-driven parametric input. XML in Scientific Computing is the first of its kind to discuss the seamless integration of data and code. The text is written by one of the most authoritative researchers in computational science."
—Professor George M. Karniadakis, Brown University