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DataKnowledgeEngJour.. - School of Computing

DataKnowledgeEngJour.. - School of Computing

processing required on

processing required on the conceptual knowledge base. Keywords are submitted by clients to the proxy, which will then search the subject heading database and return the relevant subject headings to the clients. The traffic generated in this case is greatly reduced since only the keywords and the resulting subject headings are returned. Another advantage of this approach is that we can log all the activities carried out by the different clients; the log information can be useful for further analysis. 3.2 Design of the E-Referencer The design of the E-Referencer is shown in Figure 1. It consists of the following modules: Client Modules a. The Graphical User Interface (GUI) Module handles the interaction between the user and E- Referencer. b. The Network Interface Module communicates with the E-Referencer proxy. c. The Expression Module provides functions for manipulating a search expression. d. The Control Module is the heart of the expert system. It controls and calls the various functions of the system and has the following components: • A Knowledge Base of search strategies • A Fact Base which stores the intermediate search results and information needed to select the next search strategy. • An Explanation Facility for explaining why and how certain strategies were chosen. e. The Knowledge Module contains wrapper functions for integrating the expert system script of the Control Module with the other modules of E-Referencer. Proxy Modules a. The Proxy Controller Module accepts new connections from clients and activates the appropriate modules to handle the various clients’ requests. b. The Keyword-Subject Association Module provides a list of subject headings that associates with the keywords users specify in their query. The subject headings are used to augment the user’s original query to perform a more accurate search. 13

c. The OCLC Z39.50 Client API provides functionality for connecting to, searching and retrieving information from the various library systems that support the Z39.50 protocol. d. The Z39.50 Interface Module provides a clean interface to the OCLC Z39.50 Client API. It isolates the rest of the system from changes to the OCLC Z39.50 Client API. 3.3 Client Modules Design and Implementation a. Graphical User Interface Module The widespread use of graphical-based operating systems like Windows, OS/2 and X-Windows have greatly increased the demand for programs written with graphical user interfaces. The proper usage of graphical user interface provides a very simple and friendly way for the user to interact with the system. The mouse pointer allows for easy manipulation of the system and the use of graphical items like buttons and scroll windows allows the system to present its information to the user clearly and effectively. Thus, the E-Referencer, which will eventually be used by ordinary users, has to support a graphical user interface. In addition, we hope to make the E-Referencer easily accessible to all online catalog users, and thus a Web-based graphical interface is required in the design of the E-Referencer. We have also designed the user interface to be simple, so that it is easy to use. The interface contains only one keyboard input area for the user to enter the query string, so that users will not need to spent too much time learning how to use the system. Limited information on the search results is displayed; the information includes title, author and publisher information. The records retrieved are also arranged in a list for easy browsing. Since the E-Referencer is also used as an experimental tool to help us refine and test our search strategies, we have also included a server and strategy option in the design. The server option allows us to search different Z39.50 servers, while the strategy option allows us to use different strategies for reformulation purposes. 14

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