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Network Working Group D. B. McKay Request for Comments: 316 A. P. Mulleray NIC: 9346 IBM

                                                February 23 & 24, 1972
             ARPA Network Data Management Working Group
 The meeting had two different phases.  The first included
 presentations of applications of networks and development work in the
 design to allow data sharing in a computer network, the second was a
 working meeting in which was discussed what the data management
 working group should do.

Phase I

 JOHN SENIOR, Univ. of Penn. and National Board of Medical Examiners,
 Phila., PA., described the use of a network to provide access to
 models that simulate medical behavior of patients.  These models are
 used primarily for teaching and testing physicians.  The network
 provides an interface by which varieties of terminals can connect to
 and access these models.  Other data bases exist to which access
 through a network may be desirable; however, these data bases have a
 "polyglot" of organizations making it presently impossible to use
 foreign data bases.
 HECTOR MAYNEZ, National Library of Medicine, described the MEDLINE
 system.  This has 1000 journals on-line to which access can be made
 via a network.  This network, as the one above, provides the
 interface for access by various terminals.  In this network are four
 or five computers with other applications such as CAI, clinical
 diagnosis, etc.
 RAY BEVERIDGE, MITRE, presented the requirements for the WWMCCS
 (World Wide Military Command and Control System) Network.  This
 network will contain 25 nodes and have a data exchange rate of the
 order of 10,000,000 characters per day.  Three type of data were
 formulated - query data with response on the order of seconds, daily
 exchange for updates and reports, and other data for weekly, monthly
 or as required reports.
 ERICA PEREZ, MITRE, discussed data management for the WWMCCS Network.
 The two problems are determining the location of desired data, and
 providing the proper security and reliability for vital data.  The
 location of data bases will be indicated in directories which may
 automatically determine which segment is applicable to a query.  The
 directory will contain lists of data bases, files users and programs.

McKay & Mulleray [Page 1] RFC 316 Data Management Working Group February 1972

 The directory can be centralized (all at one location), distributed
 (split into pieces but where each piece resides at one location)
 partially replicated (split into pieces but in which certain parts
 may be replicated at different locations) and completely replicated
 (the complete directory at all locations).
 The data management system will have to deal with possibly different
 hardware systems and even different local data managements systems.
 One solution is to have a standard data management and data
 description language for transmission of requests and data in the
 The system will have to provide capabilities for file transfer,
 queries, remote batch, and for user communication via a mail box.
 The security of the data is maintained by checking user id, terminal
 authorization, process authorization and data authorization.
 BOB BROWN, General Motors Research Lab., described the network of
 computers at the General Motors Research Center.  This network at
 present consists of an IBM 360/67, a 360/65, a 370/165, three 1800's
 and a Sigma 5.  All of these are primarily for graphics use except
 the 67 and the 165.  An example of how data passes through the
 network was given.  The styling department develops a design on an
 1800.  Data on this design is sent to the 67 for stress and shape
 analysis and the results returned to the 1800.  After a design is
 developed, it is sent to the 65-1800 combination for detailed
 analysis for production.  Many of the computers are running GM's own
 operating systems, and the network control consists of macros added
 to these operating systems.  Interfacing is done by providing
 specific conversion modules to the called when the specific
 conversion is required.  The 67 will eventually be replaced by a
 hierarchical multiprocessor based on the CDC Star-100.
 PHIL MESSING, MITRE,  is setting up an experiment to test the
 practicability of interfacing a network standard data management
 language with local data management systems.  In this experiment, a
 user will make a request in the network language, this request will
 be transmitted to a node, and translated to the language of this
 local node.  At present, three local systems have been selected to be
 used - MADAM at MIT, LISTAR and Lincoln Labs., and NASIS at
 It is not expected that the common data language will be able to
 handle all possible requests that may be made.  The language should
 be able to handle the most common requests, otherwise, some means of
 interaction may be set up in order to allow the transmission of more
 information to the target system than the common language may allow,
 or finally, a user can utilize the local target language.

McKay & Mulleray [Page 2] RFC 316 Data Management Working Group February 1972

 At a later stage in the experiment, a user will input a query, the
 local host will determine where the query is to be sent, the
 transmission takes place, it is accepted by the target node,
 translated to the target node's local language and processed.
 ERNIE FORMAN, MITRE, is developing a special, simple data management
 system specifically for the purpose of measuring and testing
 organizational techniques for control, directories, and files.  The
 question to be answered is whether each of these three functions
 should be centralized, or distributed, how, and where.  The initial
 experimental arrangement is to have the control and directory
 centralized at the Rand node, and the files to be distributed at
 UCSB, Rand, and BBN.  The files are each split vertically and
 distributed, this organization chosen to present the more difficult
 DICK WATSON, SRI, described some extensions of NIC (Network
 Information Center) that he would like to see, and that would involve
 network data management facilities.  The first would be the ability
 to process text from one text processor by another.  Second, it would
 eventually be desirable to distribute the NIC journals.  A first
 stage of this would be to have several NLS (Network Library System)
 systems around the network, each with its own journal.  The problems
 with this first stage would be in coordination of numbering and in
 organization of the directory.  A second stage would be one in which
 the journal might reside, in part, on other than NLS systems.
 A third extension is to enable the NLS System to use the results of
 some other cataloging or citation and bibliographic referencing
 systems as input to the NLS catalogs.  The fourth extension would be
 to enable other data management systems to generate data of more
 general type and be usable by the NLS.


 The second phase of the meeting was a working meeting to try and
 organize the committee and try and set up an active working interest
 The following names presently form the committee.  These are the
 people who have shown active interest, and are engaged in related

McKay & Mulleray [Page 3] RFC 316 Data Management Working Group February 1972

    Douglas B. McKay        IBM Research (Chairman)
    Abhay Bhushan           MIT
    Ernie Forman            MITRE
    Dorothy Hopkin          University of Illinois
    Phil Messing            MITRE
    A.P. Mullery            IBM Research
    Erika Perez             MITRE
    A. Shoshani             SDC
    S. Taylor               MITRE
    Bob Thomas              BBN
    Frank Ulmer             NBS
    Dick Watson             SRI
    Dick Winter             CCA
 It would be very useful in follow-on meetings to have representative
 from the Form Machine group.  Discussions on various uses of the Form
 Machine by a Network Data Management facility are bound to come up in
 later meetings.
 A member of the form machine group would be an asset to the Data
 Management Committee.
 Discussion on network data management covered many aspects of the
 problem with a general discussion on just what people want to be able
 to do with a network data facility.
 The following list, gleamed from the discussion, represents the
 possible stages of development:
 1.  Transmission Facility - the Network Data Control Facility (DCF)
     is able to route requests for files to the proper node.  The
     location and name must be specified.
 2.  Location Catalog- The DCF now has available to it a catalog which
     contains the locations of the data sets to be used in the
     network.  Requests for files may be made by name only, the
     location being determined by the DCF.
 3.  Description Catalog - Descriptions, as well as data sets can be
     transmitted in the network.  It is assumed these descriptions
     exist as files at local nodes.  A target node can make use of the
     description to properly convert the data set to its own format.
 4.  Data Conversion Modules - Data descriptions are received by this
     module of the DCF.  Based on the descriptions, conversion
     programs are called or generated which will transform a file to
     the form required by the target node.

McKay & Mulleray [Page 4] RFC 316 Data Management Working Group February 1972

 5.  File Access Command Interface - this module is able to convert a
     request for a file from a network data language to the local
     language at which the file is located.
 6.  Data Access - This module, an extension of the network data
     language and the interface modules, allows access to pieces of
     data as specified in the data language, and generates the proper
     local access commands.
 7.  Data Management Interface - This is the final stage, at which
     general types of commands can be interfaced to local data
     managements systems, providing general interaction among
     different data amanagement systems at different nodes.
 It was generally agreed that the ability to access all data and
 different data bases is a goal which is worth achieving.  There was
 discussion in what is the best way to achieve this goal, and the
 actual implementation techniques that could be used to achieve this.
 It was agreed that the data base interfacing problem should be
 studied in more detail and several people more willing to write
 reports on a representative problem when they have more results from
 their work.
 There was also a discussion concerning the data language and whether
 it is suitable or not.  One fact should be made clear, the results of
 this committee should not fail or succeed on the outcome of the data
 language question.  The initial proposal recommends the Datalanguage
 as de facto standard that will be adopted in the network because of
 its support and availability.  The group should be able to recommend
 changes when changes are shown to be necessary.
 The Datalanguage discussion did point out the need for having data
 set descriptions cataloged and referable by name - D. Winter, said
 that he would look into this problem.
 The proposal (RFC 304) for a network data facility should be read
 again and discussed in more detail at our next meeting.  The proposal
 says we can implement and achieve a stage 3 capability with what we
 know today.  It would be a useful stepping stone to a stage 5 and
 stage 6 capability.
 Related to the stages of development described above the following
 studies are now in progress and will help us answer pertinent
 A. Bhushan is studying a stage 1 type of network operation with
 extension in local catalogs to contain entries of network data sets
 of interest locally, to enable automatic calls to foreign data sets.

McKay & Mulleray [Page 5] RFC 316 Data Management Working Group February 1972

 E. Perez will be studying the network catalog structure in more
 detail and will publish an RFC on her work.
 Many questions were raised about the use of the data language as a
 network standard.  There are two people that have volunteered writing
 up their investigations of this important study.
 Frank Ulmer will be looking at various data management systems to see
 if their data structures are describable in terms of the
 Datalanguage.  In addition, the NIC represents one important network
 data base that could be distributed through the network.  Dick Watson
 will try to describe the NLS Journal structure in terms of the
 If there are any other people in the ARPA network or outside within
 hearing distance of this memo who may know about any real or
 potential applications of data sharing in a network, please submit an
 RFC in a letter to someone associated with the Data Management
 committee describing it.

Appendix – Meeting Attendees

 William Benedict     USAFETAC Bldg. 159 Navy Yard Annex Wash. D.C.
 Roy Beveridge        MITRE
 Abhay Bhushan        MIT, Project Mac, Cambridge, Mass.
 Bob Brown            General Motors Research Lab.
 Elizabeth Fong       National Bureau of Standards, Wash. D.C.
 Ernie Forman         MITRE
 Glen Grazier         USAFETAC Bldg. 159 Navy Yard Annex Wash. D.C.
 Dorothy Hopkin       U. of Ill., Adv. Comp. Bldg., Urbana, Ill.
 Hector S. Maynez     National Library of Medicine
 Doug B. McKay        IBM Research Center
 Phil Messing         MITRE
 Al Mullery           IBM Research Center
 Erika Perez          MITRE

McKay & Mulleray [Page 6] RFC 316 Data Management Working Group February 1972

 John Senior          Univ. of Penn. and National Board of Medical
                      Examiners, Phila. PA.
 Arie Shoshani        SDC, 2500 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica, Cal.
 Martin Snyderman     Smithsonian Science Info. Exch., Wash. D.C.
 Eric Swarthe         National Bureau of Standards, Wash. D.C.
 Suzanne Taylor       MITRE
 Bob Thomas           BBN
 Frank Ulmer          National Bureau of Standards, Wash. D.C.
 Dick Watson          SRI
 Richard Winter       Computer Corporation of America
      [This RFC was put into machine readable form for entry]
   [into the online RFC archives by Hélène Morin, Viagénie 10/99]

McKay & Mulleray [Page 7]

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