Author Archives

Research and Advances

Dynamic document processing

The current role of computers in automatic document processing is briefly outlined, and some reasons are given why the early promise of library automation and of the mechanization of documentation processes has not been fulfilled. A new dynamic document environment is then outlined in which clustered files are searched and information is retrieved following an interactive user-controlled search process. Methods are described for an automatic query modification based on user needs, and for a continuous reorganization of the stored information as a function of earlier file processing and of normal collection growth. The proposed procedures provide powerful tools for information retrieval and for the control of dynamic library collections in which new items are continually added and ones are retired.

Covering the computer field

During the past year, the Communications has printed approximately twenty papers in each of three main areas: programming language development, compiler management and construction, and numerical methods. In addition, about twenty new algorithms were published, as well as half a dozen papers covering the general area of education in computer science; new proposed standards were also disseminated for various types of paper tape, punched cards, and for data communication codes. Three of the twelve issues were conference issues consisting of papers originally given at the ACM Conference on Programming Languages and Pragmatics, the ACM Symposium on Symbolic and Algebraic Manipulation, and a Symposium on the Impact of Computing on Undergraduate Mathematics. A survey paper was published on simulation languages, and two reports were printed covering the computer scene in Communist China and Europe, respectively.
Research and Advances

Information dissemination and publication control

The present issue contains a “Forum on Algorithms” dealing with some of the problems which arise in connection with the algorithm policy of the Communications. Specifically, many ACM members believe that a policy which designates only one language (ALGOL) as appropriate for publication purposes is too restrictive, particularly when this language is not accessible to many members and may not, moreover, be especially well suited for the description of many types of problems. This feeling is reflected in Professor Perlis' comments when he suggests that several languages should be acceptable “one language being selected for each … algorithmic activity, chosen for the lucidity with which it expresses the diverse data manipulations of that area.”

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