The Boolean Operators Are Key in Searching for Information in Databases as Well as on the Internet. Discuss.

Topics: Information retrieval, Logic, Web search engine Pages: 8 (3084 words) Published: July 24, 2013
More people today are using the internet as their preferred source of information. Searching in databases and on the internet can be enhanced by the use of Boolean operators. Even if most people are capable of using the internet without knowledge of Boolean operators, this essay brings out their usefulness. This essay therefore attempts to support the assertion that Boolean operators are key in searching for information in databases as well as the internet. Working definitions given in this paper are Boolean operators, information search, database and the internet. Following is the history of Boolean operators; how they are used and their importance in searching for information with a conclusion based on their relevance to today’s dynamic search systems. Boolean logic has a much older history than modern computer systems. Actually, this theory can be said to be the foundation on which modern computer and information technology has been built. According to Cooper, (1988) the term "Boolean" refers to a system of logical thought developed by George Boole. The operators are the words used to refine the search, for example: "and", "or", "not" George Boole, an English mathematician in the 19th century, developed "Boolean Logic" in order to combine certain concepts and exclude certain concepts when searching databases. The Internet has been defined by the Oxford Economics, (2011) as a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide. It is a network of networks that consists of millions of private, public, academic, business, and government networks, of local to global scope, that are linked by a broad array of electronic, wireless and optical networking technologies. The Internet carries an extensive range of information resources and services, such as the inter-linked hypertext documents of the World Wide Web (WWW) and the infrastructure to support email. According to Billingsley, (1998) the Internet connects personal computers, mainframes, cell phones, GPS units, music players, soda pop machines, car alarms, and even dog collars. All of these computer connections exist for the sake of free information sharing. A database is an organized collection of data; that is a table consisting of columns (fields) and rows (records) where each column contains a specific attribute and each row features a certain value for the corresponding attribute. The number of columns within a single table depends on how many different types/categories of information we need to store within a database, while the number of rows is defined by the quantity of the objects that have to be introduced categorized records for. This kind of simple organization of the data in database tables allows for a computer program to quickly select and handle the necessary pieces of information. Databases rank among the most significant structural elements of the World Wide Web today. Online public access catalogs are some examples of a database (Ullman, 1997). At a basic level Boolean operators define the relationships between words or groups of words. According to Fox and Sharat, (1986) Boolean Operators are a system of logic developed by the English Mathematician George Boole (1815-1864) which allows the user to combine words or phrases representing significant concepts in a keywords search of an online catalog or bibliographic database. George Boole was an English mathematician. Born in 1815, he had no formal higher education, but had a natural gift for mathematics. He studied Newton and other mathematicians from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. He began submitting papers to mathematical journals and by 1844 was awarded a medal for discussing ways in which algebra and calculus could be combined and applied to several other disciplines. In 1847, Boole wrote a paper entitled "Mathematical Analysis of Logic" (Cooper, 1988). His premise in this paper was the relationship of logic...
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