The Garlic Project
Garlic is a project being developed by
members of the database group in Computer Science.
The goal of Garlic is to enable large-scale multimedia information systems: large scale in that they involve lots of data with multimedia taken as
broadly as possible to mean data of many types. We are particularly concerned about situations in
which there is enough data of sufficiently specialized types that users have already made decisions about how to manage it, and have stored it in separate repositories that are specifically
adapted to data of that type.
The bulk of the data in the world is not stored in database management systems. There are many
specialized systems emerging to store and search for particular data types,
including image management systems, etc.
However, many applications can benefit from combining information from
these various systems.
For example, in the medical field, hospitals often have separate information systems for each
department. Radiology may store MRI scans, etc., in one system, Cardiology may store EKG's in
another, the Lab may store lab reports in a document management system, and Administration
may store its records in a relational DBMS. Doctors, however, need access to all of this information when treating a patient. Today, hard copies are made and collected in a folder, leading to
delays and inconsistencies. In the future, hospitals would like to be able to
store patient folders on-line, enabling doctors
to search within and across folders (`find all folders where the patient has symptoms similar to this one'). However, they are unlikely to move all the data to a new, centralized system, or
in fact, to any new system that disrupts their existing applications or threatens the autonomy of
the various departments.
In Kitchen Design:
Consider the interior designer of the future.
He will need information on wallpapers,
cabinets, appliances, floor tiles, etc., as well
as information on his previous designs and a collection of powerful modeling tools.
These different collections of information are likely to be owned by
separate establishments, which will want to make
independent decisions on what software and hardware to use to store them.
Yet there are financial
advantages to all concerned if they can share this data.
General Garlic Papers
Fagin's Algorithm for Merging Ranked Results
"Magic Formula" for Incorporating User Weights
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