THE LOGIC AND MECHANICS OF STORAGE AND RETRIEVAL SYSTEMS
DOCUMENTATION INC BETHESDA MD
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A storage and retrieval device must be able to store information and to respond to queries by delivering or outputting some specific part of the information stored. The requirement can be made more specific by analyzing the type of questions to which the device must respond, and the type of output appropriate to any type of question. The types of input question are the index question, the content or abstract question, and the association or coincidence question. Arguments are advanced that the logic of information storage and retrieval demonstrate that storage and retrieval systems do not require data processing or rapid addition, subtraction, and multiplication, such as furnished by digital computers, but do require a random access, instantaneous recognition, and direct display of any item permanently stored in a static memory. A model of such a machine was built containing a vocabulary of 250 terms which indexed 100 reports. The total vocabulary and the numbers of the reports are displayed to the searcher on a panel. Each vocabulary term and each report number has associated with it a light and a jack. The reports are entered and the associations are made by establishing the appropriate electrical paths, with isolation of paths to prevent false answers. The device is named EDIAC electronic display of indexing, association, and content.