Browse Prior Art Database

Intelligent Search through an Electronic Address Book

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000116901D
Original Publication Date: 1995-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-31
Document File: 4 page(s) / 103K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Goodwin, J: AUTHOR [+5]

Abstract

Disclosed is a method allowing a user of an electronic address book to search through previously entered information on various individuals when he can only remember part of the information identifying the individual for whom he is searching. This information includes, for example, the individual's name, address, telephone and FAX numbers, and their company name. The electronic address book includes a touch screen on which information may be displayed and selected. To begin a search, the user first touches a "search" icon on any screen displayed by the device. Then the user enters a particular search string by touching alphanumeric icons displayed on the screen.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 54% of the total text.

Intelligent Search through an Electronic Address Book

      Disclosed is a method allowing a user of an electronic address
book to search through previously entered information on various
individuals when he can only remember part of the information
identifying the individual for whom he is searching.  This
information includes, for example, the individual's name, address,
telephone and FAX numbers, and their company name.  The electronic
address book includes a touch screen on which information may be
displayed and selected.  To begin a search, the user first touches a
"search" icon on any screen displayed by the device.  Then the user
enters a particular search string by touching alphanumeric icons
displayed on the screen.

      The algorithm used to search for information based on this
string assumes that the search data entered can be a different case,
such as lower instead of upper, from the data to be found, and that
the data entered may be part of a person's name, address, telephone
or FAX number, electronic mail address, company name, etc.  These
assumptions increase the likelihood that the user can locate the
person without needing to remember much of the information.  The
search algorithm saves the user time that would otherwise be spend
iterating through the search function.

      The search algorithm includes a simple string search, a phone
number search, and a name field search, all of which are
case-insensitive.  These functions are implemented as described by
the following pseudo-code:
  search routine begin
  make 3 copies of input string
  copy 1:
    lower case input string to perform case insensitive search
  copy 2:
    if input string looks like it could be a phone number, then
     remove all delimiters from search string number.  (Delimiters
     are: parentheses, hyphens, commas, and spaces.)
  copy 3
    "prepared input string for name field search" while more entries
     to do
  get address book entry
  lowercase address book entry to prepare for "simple
case-insensi-tive
   string search"
  if "simple case insensitive string search" found match (using copy
1)
    record match entry
  else if input string looks like it could be a phone number and
   "case insensitive phone number search" found match (using copy 2)
    record match entry
  else if "case insensitive name field search" found match (using
  copy 3)
    record match entry
  endif
  endwhile search routine end
    "simple case insensitive string search" begin
  if input string in address book entry data
  return found match
  else
  return no match simple case insensitive string search end
  "case insensitive phone number search" begin
   prepare by removing all delimiters from address book entry phone
    number
  if prepared input string in prepared address book entry phone
   number then
    return found match
  else if prepared address...