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Materials databases can contain widely differing data records in terms of the size and number of data elements, depending on the types of data. In using materials databases, users often want to search an entire database as if all data for one material were in one record, even though physically and logically they are in many records. This affects search strategies and their implementation. Acceptance of materials databases depends on user interfaces containing search strategies that will find answers to queries as needed by engineers and scientists. This paper will outline typical access paths (search strategies) from three points of view: first, simple and complex matching; second, specification of multiple criteria; and third, search refinement.
materials databases, materials selection, range searching, search strategy, user interface, computers, materials data banks
National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD