Natural Computing: Analysis of Graphs for Computer Representation.

Report No. ARL-TR-2042
Authors: Som Karamchetty
Date/Pages: February 2000; 39 pages
Abstract: Some fundamental objects in practical documents have not been implemented in software so that they can be used easily for calculation. One such object is the graph. A survey of practical graphs found in a variety of real-world documents reveals that many of their useful features are not captured in software. I describe the salient characteristics and features of graphs and propose data structures and computer representations for graph objects. Through the adoption of such structures and representations, practical graph objects could be developed for use by domain specialists. Such graphs embedded in electronic documents can be used in interactive applications to retrieve data, but most importantly, they could be used as functional representations for "cutting and pasting" in procedures and programs. Use of these graph objects, together with other natural computing objects (such as equations, tables, and procedures), will permit electronic documents like handbooks, textbooks, journals, and bulletins to be used seamlessly for calculations by both domain specialists and naive users. Such developments will reduce the lag between information availability and its use in calculations, encouraging the further development of knowledge. The face of software development for computation will change, and many of the software engineering costs will be contained.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: February 1, 2000