“A query language for a network data base with graphical entities” by Phillips

  • ©Richard (Dick) L. Phillips




    A query language for a network data base with graphical entities



    A generalized high level query language has been developed for use with a network data base, as defined by the CODASYL DBTG report. Of particular interest is the capability of manipulating graphical entities with this language. The system was developed to supportan offshore oil lease information project where one must formulate queries pertaining to proximity of graphical entities. To facilitate such requests new relational operators were defined and implemented. Thus compound Boolean expressions can be formed which involve graphical as well as non-graphical criteria. Since one goal of the information system is to produce selectively colored maps via an FR80 microfilm recorder, the query language syntax provides the user with a comprehensive thematic cartography capability. The query language is designed to isolate the user from the underlying network structure of the data base. In order to accomplish this generalized pathfinding and accessing algorithms had to be developed. Pathfinding is facilitated through an adjacency matrix involving all record types in the data base, while accession is controlled by examining the local owner-member relation for current record types. Besides querying, the system provides the usual complement of data base management system functions, i.e. deletion, updating, reporting, etc.


    1. Joyce, J. D. and Oliver, N. A. “REGIS — A Relational Database Manager with Graphics and Statistics,” Research Publication GMR-2009, Research Laboratories, General Motors Corp., Warren, Mich. (Jan. 1976).
    2. Senko, M. E. “DIAM TI with FORAL LP: Making Pointed Queries with a Light Pen,” IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, N.Y. (1976).
    3. Phillips, R. L. and Cederquist, G. N. “A Specialized Programming Language for Analysis and Display of Water Quality Data,” Fifth International CODATA Conference, Boulder, Colo. (June 1976).
    4. Mantey, P. E. et al. “Information for Problem Solving: The Development of an Interactive Geographic Information System,” Proc. IEEE Int. Communications Conf., Seattle, Wash. (June 1973).
    5. Williams, R. and Giddings, G. M. “A Picture Building System,” IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, Vol. SE-2, No. 1 (March 1976) 62-66.
    6. Go, A., Stonebraker, M., and Williams, G. “An Approach to Implementing a Geo-Data System,” Proc. Workshop on Data Bases for Interactive Design, Waterloo, Canada, ACM, Inc. (Sept. 1975).
    7. Phillips, R. L. “Computer Graphics in Urban and Environmental Systems,” Proc. IEEE, Vol. 62, No. 4 (April 1974).
    8. Eastman, C. M. Proc. 1975 ACM SIGGRAPH – SIGMOD Workshop on Data Bases in Interactive Design, Waterloo, Ontario (Sept. 1975).
    9. CODASYL Data Base Task Group, April 1971 Report, ACM, New York.
    10. Hershey, E. A. and Messink, P. W. “A Data Base Management System for PSA Based on DBTG 71,” ISDOS Working Paper No. 88, University of Michigan (July 1975).
    11. Bandurski, A. E. and Jefferson, D. K. “Enhancements to the DBTG Model for Computer-Aided Ship Design,” Proc. Workshop on Data Bases for Interactive Design, Waterloo, Canada, ACM, Inc. (Sept. 1975).
    12. Bonczek, W. D., Haseman, W. D., and Whinston, A. B. “Structure of a Query Language for a Network Data Base,” Tech. Rept., Krannert School, Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, Ind. (July 1975).
    13. Deheneffe, C. and Hennebert, H. “NUL: A Navigational User’s Language for a Network Structured Data Base,” Proc. Int’l Conf. on Management of Data, Washington, D.C. ACM, Inc. (June 1976).
    14. Heindel, L. E. and Roberto, J. T. LANG-PAK-An Interactive Language Design System, American Elsevier, New York (1975).

ACM Digital Library Publication: