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4. Input-output, terminal design, and character sets.
4.1. General input-output considerations...... 4.2. Keyboards and remote terminal design....
4.3. Character set requirements.....
5.1.1. Problems of very large programs and of program documentations..
5.1.4. Hierarchies of languages and programming theory..... 5.2. Processor and storage system design considerations...
5.2.1. Central processor design..........
5.2.3. Hardware-software interdependence...
6.1.1. Laser technology.........
6.1.4. Other optoelectronic considerations. 6.2. Batch fabrication and integrated circuits..... 6.3. Advanced data storage developments...
6.3.1. Main memories........
6.3.3. High-density data recording and storage techniques....
7.1. Debugging problems.......
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List of Figures Figure 1. A generalized information processing system..... Figure 2. Photochromic data reduction......
Research and Development in the Computer and Information Sciences
3. Overall System Design Considerations:
A Selective Literature Review
Mary Elizabeth Stevens
This report, the third in a series on research and development efforts and requirements in the computer and information iences, is concerned with a selective literature review involving overall system design considerations in the planning of information processing systems and networks. Specific topics include but are not limited to: requirements and resources analysis, problems of system networking, input/output and remote terminal design, character sets, programming problems and lan. guages, processor design considerations, advanced hardware developments, debugging and on-line diagnosis or instrumentation, and problems of simulation. Supplemental notes and a bibliography of over 570 cited references are included.
Key words: Data recording; debugging; holography; information control; input-output; integrated
1. Introduction This is the third in a planned series of reports Affecting all of the system design requirements for involving selective literature reviews of research specific functions of generalized information procand development requirements and areas of con- essing systems are those of hierarchies and intertinuing R & D concern in the computer and informa- action of systems, and of effective access-response tion sciences and technologies. In the first report, languages; the client, system-configuration, and the background considerations and general purposes system-usage considerations (especially in terms of intended to be served by the series are discussed. multiple-access, time-shared systems), and of sysIn addition, the general plan of attack and certain tem evaluation, including such on-going "evaluacaveats are outlined.**
tions" as debugging aids and on-line instrumented
checking or monitoring facilities. In the first two reports in this series, we have been Under overall system design requirements, we concerned with generalized information processing are concerned with input-output capabilities and systems as shown in Figure 1, more particularly terminal display and control equipment, with proces. these reports were concerned respectively with in- sor and storage systems design, with advanced formation acquisition, and sensing, and input opera- technological developments, with programming tions and with information processing, storage, and language requirements, and with problems of onoutput requirements. In this report we will be con- line debugging, client protection, instrumentation, cerned with some of the overall system design con
and simulation. siderations affecting more than one of the processes
First, however, let us consider some of the overall shown, such as programming languages, remote system design considerations involved in require. terminals used both for input and output, and ad- ments and resources analysis and in problems of vanced hardware developments generally.
2. Requirements and Resources Analyses
The introduction of automatic data processing techniques has not changed the kind of fact-finding, analysis, forecasting, and evaluation required for
effective systems planning and implementation; it has changed the degree, particularly with respect to extent, comprehensitivity, detail in depth, and questions of multiple possible interrelationships. For example, a "single information flow" concept 2.1 becomes realizable to an extent not possible before. On the other hand, distributed 2.2 and decentralized
*Information Acquisition, Sensing, and Input: A Selective Literature Review.
** Appendix A of this report contains notes and quotations pertinent to the running text. For the convenience of the reader, notes "1.1" and "1.2" recapitulate some of the considerations discussed in the first report. Appendix B provides a bibliography of cited references.
systems also become more practical and efficient because of new possibilities for automatic control of necessary interactions.
A major area of continuing R & D concern with respect to both requirements and resources analysis is that of the development of more adequate methodologies.2.3 Nevertheless, the new business on the agenda of the national information scene - that is, the challenge of system networking-offers new possibilities for a meshing of system design criteria that have to do with where and how the system is to be operated and with where and how it is to be used.
2.1. Requirements Analysis
Requirements analysis, as an operational sine qua non of system design, begins of course with suitable assessment of present and potential user needs. Elsewhere in this series of reports, some embarrassingly critical commentaries with respect to actual or prospective usage are selectively covered.2.4 Assuming, however, that there are definitive needs of some specifiable clientele for processing system services that can be identified, we must first attempt some quantifiable measures of what, who, when, where, and why, the information-processing-systemservice requests are to be honored.2.5 In particular, improved techniques of analysis with respect to clientele requirements, information control requirements, and output and cost/benefit considerations are generally desired.
2.1.1. Clientele Requirements It is noted first that "lack of communication between the client, that is, the man who will use the system, and the system designer is the first aspect of the brainware problem." (Clapp, 1967, p. 3). Considering the potential clients as individual users of an information processing system or service, the following are among the determinations that need to be made: 2.6
1. Who are the potential users? 2. Where are they located? 2.7 3. If there are many potential users, user groups,
and user communities, how do needs for information and for processing services differ
of information input, flow, processing, storage, retrieval, and output are essential to effective system design. Davis in a late 1967 lecture discussed many of the multifacetted problems involved in information control - in both system planning and system use. The varied aspects range from questions of information redundancy in information items to be processed and stored to those of error detection and correction with respect to an individual item record as received, processed, stored, and/or retrieved.
Among these information control requirements are: input and storage filtering and compression; quality control in the sense of the accuracy and reliability of the information to be processed in the system; questions of file integrity and the deliberate introduction of redundancy; problems of formatting, normalization, and standardization, and error detection and error correction techniques.
More particularly, Davis (1967) is concerned with problems of information control in a system with the following characteristics: “1. It has several groups of users of differing
administrative levels. “2. The information within the system has im
posed upon it varying privacy, security and/or
confidentiality constraints. “3. The information entering the system is of
varying quality with respect to its substantive content; that is, it may be raw or unevaluated, it may have been subjected to a number of evaluation criteria or it may be invariant
(grossly so) as standard reference data. “4. The user audience is both local and remote. “5. Individual users or user groups have individ
ual access to the information contained within
the system. “6. The information within the system is multi
source information." (Davis, 1967, p. 1-2).
We may note first the problems of controls that will govern the total amount of information that is to be received, processed, and stored in the system. These may consist of input filtering operations 2.11 as in sampling techniques applied to remote data acquisition processes 2.12 or in checking for duplications and redundancies in the file.2.13
Other information control requirements with respect to the total amount of information in the system relate to problems of physical storage access, withdrawals and replacements of items to and from the store, maintenance problems including questions of whether or not integrity of the files must be provided (i.e., a master copy of each item accessible at all times),2.14 provisions for the periodic purging of
, obsolete items,2.15 revisions of the file organization in accordance with changing patterns of usage, 2.16 response requirements,2.17 and requirements for display of all or part of an item and/or indications of its characteristics prior to physical retrieval.2.18
Another important area of information control is that of identification and authentication of material
among them? 2.8
4. What are the likely patterns and frequencies of
usage for different types of potential clients? 5. To what extent are potential clients both moti
vated and trained to use the type of facilities
and services proposed? 2.9 However obvious these and other requirements analysis considerations may be, a present cause of critical concern is the general lack of experimental evidence on user reaction, user behavior, and user effectiveness.2.10
2.1.2. Information Control Requirements Detailed consideration and decision-making with respect to controls over the quality and the quantity