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Bit Vector Search Mechanism

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000034776D
Original Publication Date: 1989-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-27
Document File: 2 page(s) / 14K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Decker, SR: AUTHOR

Abstract

Described is a method to access data from a PC or PS2 file. The data selected is by means of a selection criteria. The mechanism uses a code value associated with each field to create a bit vector that is used as an index into the standard PC data file. A bit vector is a string of data in which the bits represent a binary condition and the position of a bit is significant. IBM Professional Work Manager (PWM) product uses a mechanism that helps a user find task records based on the value of fields that comprise a portion of the record. The mechanism uses a coded value associated with the selection fields' named value. The code is created at the time a new record is entered into the file or when old records are modified; any value may have an associated code.

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Bit Vector Search Mechanism

Described is a method to access data from a PC or PS2 file.

The data selected is by means of a selection criteria. The mechanism uses a code value associated with each field to create a bit vector that is used as an index into the standard PC data file. A bit vector is a string of data in which the bits represent a binary condition and the position of a bit is significant. IBM Professional Work Manager (PWM) product uses a mechanism that helps a user find task records based on the value of fields that comprise a portion of the record. The mechanism uses a coded value associated with the selection fields' named value. The code is created at the time a new record is entered into the file or when old records are modified; any value may have an associated code. The code is used as the basis of the bit vector index used to access the information file. Identical coded values are used as a means of defining a set. The data record containing the external value is considered to be included in a set when its coded value indicates this. For instance, providing the name of a color might be a data entry requirement, or it might be used in a panel used to make a selection from a database. The user might enter "Ruby" or "Azure" and indicate that these values are valid names belonging to the "Red" and "Blue" set of colors, respectively.

If all records are then searched for "Color= Red", the record with the value "Ruby" would be retrieved as well as those in which "Red" was entered. The Bit Vector Search mechanism uses the coded value to update the bit vectors used as indices to the file. Multiple bit vectors represent the code number in one implementation. A file of records is represented by one bit in a particular position of each record. The vector has a definite length which is the maximum number of records to be indexed. Bit vectors have a specific purpose, such as representing that a specific field of a file's data records has a specific value. A binary condition can be represented by a single bit positioned on the vector at the same relative position as the record's position in the file. When a code is used for a value and the value is not binary, there are several translati...