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Please view http://virtual2privatecloud.com/troubleshooting-openstack-nova/

Instance Creation Success
A successful instance creation results in following log messages.
Log Snippet
2013-11-21 14:34:58.728 3981 AUDIT nova.compute.manager [req-30856cb6-03fc-4891-b17b-01dcf571099b 3575a88c7fc748b5a2603e1f9f381695 48b0d7295bbe4907a5bea2f686c8e5e6] [instance: f27bd1c5-05c3-4e91-a430-96adb1e95fcb] Starting instance…
2013-11-21 14:35:03.166 3981 INFO nova.compute.manager [-] Lifecycle event 0 on VM f27bd1c5-05c3-4e91-a430-96adb1e95fcb
2013-11-21 14:35:03.255 3981 INFO nova.virt.libvirt.driver [-] [instance: f27bd1c5-05c3-4e91-a430-96adb1e95fcb] Instance spawned successfully.

and http://www.laurentluce.com/posts/openstack-nova-internals-of-instance-launching/ the last one looks a bit outdated, but to_xml() method may be found in driver.py

Hence, XML def generation seems to be invollved in process of instance spawning .
My guess the answer is no.