A Browsing Theory and Its Application to Database Navigation

  • A. D’Atri
  • L. Tarantino
Part of the International Centre for Mechanical Sciences book series (CISM, volume 347)


A formal model and a set of primitives are introduced to represent the process of displaying and browsing in a database represented by means of a graph, or a network. Several kinds of navigational processes with an increasing level of complexity are formalized, and some desirable properties for browsers are also investigated. It is shown, by simple examples, how this formalism can be used as an abstract tool to describe and implement this interaction style with databases.


Bipartite Graph Local View Vertex Label Local Identifier Current Label 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Bachman, C.: The Programmer as a Navigator. Communication of the ACM, 16 (11), 1973.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bell, J.L.: Reuse and Browsing: Survey of Program Developers, in: Object Frameworks, (Ed. D. Tsichritzis ), Technical Report, Universite de Geneve, 1992, 197–220.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Botafogo, R.A., Rivlin, E. and Shneiderman, B.: Structural Analysis of Hypertexts: Identifying Hierarchies and Useful Metrics. ACM Transactions on Information Systems, 10: 2, (1992), 142–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    D’Atri, A., Laenens, E., Paoluzzi, A., Tarantino, L. and Vermeir, D.: A Graphical Browser to Object-oriented Knowledge Bases. Database Technology, Pergamon Press, 4 (1), (1991), 45–55.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    D’Atri, A. and Tarantino, L.: From Browsing to Querying. Data Engineering, IEEE Computer Society, 12 (2), (1989), 46–55.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    D’Atri, A. and Tarantino, L.: A Friendly Graphical Environment for Interacting with Data and Knowledge Bases. in: Designing and Using Human-Computer Interfaces and Knowledge Based Systems, (Eds. G. Salvendy and J. Smith), Advances in Human Factors/Ergonomics 12B, Elsevier, 1989, 195–202.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    D’Atri, A. and Tarantino, L.: The vertex identification problem in graph and network databases. Unpublished manuscript, 1993.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Goldberg, A.: Smalltalk 80: the Interactive Programming Environment. Addison-Wesley, 1984.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Halasz, F.: Reflections on Notecards: Seven Issues for the Next Generation of Hypermedia Systems. Communication of the ACM, 31 (7), (1988), 836–852.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Helm, R. and Maarek, Y.: Integrating Information Retrieval and Domain Specific Approaches for Browsing and Retrieval in Object-Oriented Class Libraries. in: Proceedings of OOPSLA ‘81, Phoenix, 1991, 47–61.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Herot, C.: Spatial Management of Data. ACM Transactions on Database Systems, 5 (4), (1980), 493–513.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Mander, R., Salomon,G. and Wong, Y.Y.: A `Pile’ Metaphor for Supporting Casual Organization of Information. in: Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI’92, May 3–7, 1992, Monterey, CA, ACM Press, 627–634.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Meyer, B.: Lessons from the Design of the Eiffel Libraries. Communications of the ACM, 33 (9), (1990), 69–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Motro, A.: Browsing in a Loosely Structured Database. in: Proceedings of ACM-SIGMOD International Conference on Management of Data, ACM, New York, New York, 1984, 197–207.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Motro, A.: BAROQUE: an Exploratory Interface to Relational Databases. ACM Transactions on Office Information Systems, 4 (2), (1986), 164–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Motro, A., D’Atri, A. and Tarantino, L.: KIVIEW: The Design of an Object-Oriented Browser. in: Proceedings of 2nd International Conference on Expert Database Systems, Vienna, VA., (Ed. L. Kerschberg ), Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Company, 1988, 107–133.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Nielsen, J.: The Art of Navigating through Hypertext. Communication of the ACM, 33 (3), (1990), 296–310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Nielsen, J.: Hypertext & Hypermedia, Academic Press, New York, 1990.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Pintado, X. and Tsichritzis, D.: SaTellite: Hypermedia Exploration by Affinity. in: Hypertext: Perspectives, Concepts and Applications, ACM, Cambridge University Press, 1990, 278–288.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Stonebraker, M. and Kalash, J.: Timber: a Sophisticated Database Browser. in: Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Very Large Data Bases, VLDB Endowment (available from Morgan-Kaufmann, Los Altos, California ), 1982, 1–10.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Stotts, P.D. and Furuta, R.: Petri-net-based Hypertext: Document Structure with Browsing Semantics. ACM Transactions on Information Systems, 7 (1), (1989), 3–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. D’Atri
    • 1
  • L. Tarantino
    • 1
  1. 1.University of L’AquilaL’AquilaItaly

Personalised recommendations