Browse Prior Art Database

Dynamic Self Optimizing Price Lookup for Retail Terminal System

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000052757D
Original Publication Date: 1981-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-11
Document File: 3 page(s) / 59K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Chamoff, ME: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

In an installation having a number of point-of-sale terminals it is common to provide one terminal with additional computing and storage capacity so that it can function as a controller for the entire cluster. Ideally, each terminal in a cluster would have price data on all the merchandise so that any sale can be handled with the need to communicate with another, larger, terminal or controller. This is costly, and the alternative, placing all data in a single storage which is remote from the terminals, is too slow and unreliable.

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Dynamic Self Optimizing Price Lookup for Retail Terminal System

In an installation having a number of point-of-sale terminals it is common to provide one terminal with additional computing and storage capacity so that it can function as a controller for the entire cluster. Ideally, each terminal in a cluster would have price data on all the merchandise so that any sale can be handled with the need to communicate with another, larger, terminal or controller. This is costly, and the alternative, placing all data in a single storage which is remote from the terminals, is too slow and unreliable.

To overcome these disadvantages, the system shown in the drawing has a random-access memory (RAM) storage unit in each terminal. These storage units have sufficient capacity to accommodate program storage needs and a limited amount of price lookup data.

The system includes point-of-sale terminals of two types. Each system has one shared media terminal 1 which contains a controller section 2 and a local section 3. Other units in the system are satellite terminals 4 which have a local section 5. The terminals are interconnected with a communication line 6 which ties in to the line adapter of the shared media terminal 1 and the line adapter of each of the satellite terminals 4.

In operation, a local section will require price or other data associated with a merchandise item entered through the keyboard. The programmed microprocessor searches for the item keyed in the portion of RAM storage that is dedicated to merchandise data table. If the item is found, the data is extracted from the table and the table is compressed by moving data down to fill the space that was occupied by the extracted item. The extracted item is inserted at the top of the table, and the data relating to the item is used by the terminal.

When the local section does not find the desired item in its own RAM storage, the item is requested from the shared media terminal 1 over communication line
6. Upon receiving a request for a...