Report Number: CS-TR-97-1580
Institution: Stanford University, Department of Computer Science
Title: STARTS: Stanford Protocol Proposal for Internet Retrieval and
Author: Gravano, Luis
Author: Chang, Kevin
Author: Garcia-Molina, Hector
Author: Paepcke, Andreas
Date: January 1997
Abstract: Document databases are available everywhere, both within the
internal networks of the organizations and on the Internet.
The database contents are often "hidden" behind search
interfaces. These interfaces vary from database to database.
Also, the algorithms with which the associated search engines
rank the documents in the query results are usually
incompatible across databases. Even individual organizations
use search engines from different vendors to index their
internal document collections. These organizations could
benefit from unified query interfaces to multiple search
engines, for example, that would give users the illusion of a
single big document database. Building such "metasearchers"
is nowadays a hard task because different search engines are
largely incompatible and do not allow for interoperability.
To improve this situation, the Digital Library project at
Stanford has coordinated among search-engine vendors and
other key players to reach informal agreements for unifying
basic interactions in these three areas. This is the final
writeup of our informal "standards" effort. This draft is
based on feedback from people from Excite, Fulcrum, GILS,
Harvest, Hewlett-Packard Laboratories, Infoseek, Microsoft
Network, Netscape, PLS, Verity, and WAIS, among others.