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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

Hierarchical storage in information retrieval


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A probabilistic analysis is employed to determine the effect of hierarchical storage organizations on information retrieval operations. The data storage hardware is assumed to consist of n-levels of linearly connected memory hardware with increasing data access times and increasing data storage capabilities. A system might, for example, consist of fast semiconductor memory, computer core memory, extended core storage, disk memory, and data cells. Equations are derived to predict the effect of such a system on data access times using sequential files, random access files, and structured files employing multiple-hierarchical linked lists.

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