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Communications of the ACM

Table of Contents


President's letter


ACM forum


From Washington: NSF takes the initiative

The National Science Foundation's Advisory Committee for Advanced Scientific Computing Resources was formed to provide leadership for large-scale scientific computing throughout the United States. Consisting of 15 members representing …

Programming pearls: graphic output

In previous columns we've studied the innards of programs. In this column we'll take a broader view of the programmer's task and consider the kind of output a program should produce. We'll focus on a single problem: once a system …

Computer matching: should it be banned?

Since discovering the technique of computer matching several years ago, government managers have been invoking this computer tool in the attempt to root out waste and fraud in their programs. Is computer matching an indispensable …

Computer matching is a serious threat to individual rights


The government needs computer matching to root out waste and fraud


Laser optical disk: the coming revolution in on-line storage

Commercially available only recently, the optical disk drive uses a laser beam to burn impressions onto a plastic disk. Employing a highly focused beam rather than a diffuse magnetic field to write, the laser optical disk drive …

An assessment of the prototyping approach to information systems development

A two-phased research project comparing the prototyping approach with the more traditional life cycle approach finds that prototyping facilitates communication between users and designers during the design process. However, the …

Updating a database in an unsafe environment

Normally, when an application makes use of a database, considerable resources are invested in maintaining the integrity of that database. However, in situations where use of a database may be desirable even though the normal  …

A large font virtual terminal interface: a software prosthesis for the visually impaired

A large font software interface running under UNIX1 is of great assistance to the severely visually impaired in the interactive use of computers. The interface, which functions as a virtual terminal as far as other processes/ …

Talking to UNIX in English: an overview of UC

UC is a natural language help facility which advises users in using the UNIX operating system. Users can query UC about how to do things, command names and formats, online definitions of UNIX or general operating systems terminology …

Anomalies in parallel branch-and-bound algorithms

We consider the effects of parallelizing branch-and-bound algorithms by expanding several live nodes simultaneously. It is shown that it is quite possible for a parallel branch-and-bound algorithm using n2 processors to take1 …