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Data Storage and Logical Control for Q(uestionnaire) System

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000074061D
Original Publication Date: 1971-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-23
Document File: 3 page(s) / 18K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Miller, JM: AUTHOR

Abstract

A unified method is described for locating in computer storage items in a record file containing questionnaire-type data. The method is designed to conserve space needed for storing information ancillary to the look-up process. A record in a given file consists of data entered for a sequence of queries (questionnaire). A query may be classified according to its data type. Seven types are provided: (1) name, (2) variable-length alphanumeric, (3) data, (4) fixed-length character, (5) number, (6) integer, (7) code and/or free-text. Any number of each type may appear in any order in a questionnaire. The types differ in the storage arrays used, in prestorage editing, if any, and in the types of validity checks made as data is entered.

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Data Storage and Logical Control for Q(uestionnaire) System

A unified method is described for locating in computer storage items in a record file containing questionnaire-type data. The method is designed to conserve space needed for storing information ancillary to the look-up process. A record in a given file consists of data entered for a sequence of queries (questionnaire). A query may be classified according to its data type. Seven types are provided: (1) name, (2) variable-length alphanumeric, (3) data, (4) fixed-length character, (5) number, (6) integer, (7) code and/or free-text. Any number of each type may appear in any order in a questionnaire. The types differ in the storage arrays used, in prestorage editing, if any, and in the types of validity checks made as data is entered. Location of a particular data item depends on the number of the record in the file, and the number of the query in the record.

The central feature of the look-up scheme is a 0, 1 matrix (the 8 matrix) stored bitwise to conserve space. This matrix has one column for each of the seven query types, plus one for free-text, and has one row for each query in the questionnaire. For each row, a 1 appears in the column corresponding to the query type. If the query is type 7 and a free-text entry is permitted, a 1 appears in column 8 as well as 7.

Letting the first index for an element in the 8 matrix designate the query number (row Q) and the second designate query type (column T), then the number of queries of a given type T up to and including query Q in a given questionnaire is

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In general, S(QT) is used to obtain the column index in a data storage or anci...