Date of Award

Summer 1998

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Computing Sciences - (Ph.D.)

Department

Computer and Information Science

First Advisor

Peter A. Ng

Second Advisor

Murat Tanik

Third Advisor

Daochuan Hung

Fourth Advisor

Ronald S. Curtis

Fifth Advisor

Taiming Chu

Abstract

This dissertation presents an Internal Folder Organization (I-ORG) which supplements the architectural deficiencies of the existing model - the User Folder Organization (U-ORG), to electronically model a person's filing system in the modern office environment. An I-ORG folder organization gives a logical representation of how documents of the same or different kinds are related and grouped into folders based on predefined premises. Our model is represented by a Rooted Direct Acyclic Graph (RDAG). Each node in the graph represents a folder; and folders are related by "subfolder relationship" (for capturing the "and" relation) and "virtual-folder relationship" (for capturing the "or" relation). Each folder in the organization has a criterion, specifying in terms of a local predicate, which governs the document filing for that folder. The dissertation also investigates how the new model demonstrates its architectural support in the four functional areas: (1) Construction - It reduces the complexity of predicate specifications; (2) Filing - It improves the performance of document distribution; (3) Retrieving - It facilitates system responsiveness to queries, especially for the documents which are frequently requested by the user; and (4) Reorganization - It reduces the volume of documents to be redistributed when the folder organization is modified. The justifications of our model in possession of critical architectural attributes to support the above functions efficiently and effectively are presented throughout this dissertation, which lead us to draw an initial conclusion - our proposed model is architecturally superior over the other representative models.

In comparison with the I-ORG, which is operational more efficient, the U-ORG has its simplicity because it maintains only a single type of link. Therefore, the implementation of the system can have two models which represent the folder organization at two different levels: the user interface level (or the external representation using U-ORG), and the system execution level (or the internal representation using I-ORG). Interoperabilities between the two models needs to be well-coordinated and kept transparent to the user while the system optimizes its performance by utilizing the architectural strength from both models.

The dissertation also investigates the transformation between the two models and proposes a step-locked reduction algorithm to accomplish that task. This transformation capability provides to the user more flexibilities to specify predicates when his folder organization is created and represented by an U-ORG. This U-ORG is transformed and fine-tuned into a content-equivalent folder organization represented by an I-ORG, which optimizes the overall predicate structure to help improve the functional performance. In such a final representation, each folder in the organization only associates with a single atomic predicate.

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