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The situation in the field of materials data banks in the Federal Republic of Germany is described in this paper.
An analysis of early data banks resulted in the following conclusions: (1) it is not helpful to build an overall materials data bank with a lot of data gaps, (2) there was no information on the quality and reliability of the data, (3) the results of searching the data were often less effective than thumbing through the pages of a book, (4) there was no user friendliness within the retrieval systems, and (5) the data banks were very different from each other and the users had to learn several systems.
On the basis of these results, new concepts of materials data banks were developed that included two groups of activities: 1. building a framework with (a) setting up an overall conceptual scheme, (b) user friendly access, (c) programs for data calculation and interpretation, and (d) building up expert systems; and 2. collecting, validating, and evaluating data on the basis of the framework and special agreed rules for (a) collecting and validating data in an agreed structured format, (b) collecting data with high quality and complete information, (c) measuring of missing data, (d) working out algorithms for calculating and extrapolating data, and (e) building data banks out of data produced by several institutions.
Carrying out all of these activities is a tremendous job that can be done only with the cooperation of all the data producers.
materials databases, computers, materials data banks, concepts, cooperation, data collection, data retrieval, data systems, evaluation, materials, national programs, properties, testing
Program manager, Gesellschaft für Mathematik und Datenverarbeitung mbH, Darmstadt,