[sword-devel] MdF (Monads dot Features) database model

Johnny Stovall PhD sword-devel@crosswire.org
Mon, 17 Jan 2000 13:55:30 +0000

At 01:04 PM 1/4/2000 -0600, Ulrik Petersen wrote:
>One database model which we might want to look into is the MdF database
>model.  It was developed in Crist-Jan Doedens' 1994 PhD thesis.  It is a
>database model catering to "Expounded text", or "Text and information about
>that text".  This seems to me to be what we are trying to store and retrieve
>in SWORD, and so I could not keep silent about this Great and Superior
>Database Model (GSDM (TM)) :-).
Google and AltaVista couldn't find "Expounded text" although I agree
that this is what we need.

I haven't found Crist-Jan Doedens' 1994 PhD thesis on the Internet.  Amazon
his book on this subject but only by special order and a long wait.			

Google and AltaVista couldn't find MdF (Monads dot Features) anywhere except
in Robin Cover's 1997 SGML Bibliography at links which are broken.  

>In his PhD thesis, Doedens also gave a general-purpose, very powerful query
>language to query MdF databases.  The advantage of this language was that it
>dealt with absolutely anything you could ever want to ask of an MdF
>database.  The disadvantage of the language was that its semantics was given
>in a /denotational/ manner, indicating /what/ was to be retrieved, but not
>/how/.  It would take several PhD-type persons with lots and lots and lots
>of grey matter to figure out how to actually implement QL.

The denotational semanatic formal descriptions are what I would like first.  
If they are good then I am more interested in digging deeper into procedural
syntactics of optimized partial solutions.

My preliminary opinion, without knowing the facts, is that the SWORD project 
would best be served by an optimized partial solution and the best way to
get that is to involve veteran scholars who will say this is the best 
ultimate solution and the optimization captures the maximum which is feasible
with todays resources.