Agree. When you step outside libraryland and into corporate/enterprise
IT (thinking Autonomy, FAST, etc.) then "federated search" is often used
to refer to aggregated local indexing of distinct databases.


Jason Stirnaman
Digital Projects Librarian/School of Medicine Support
A.R. Dykes Library, University of Kansas Medical Center
[log in to unmask]

>>> On 4/21/2009 at 12:56 PM, in message <[log in to unmask]>,
Rochkind <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I think I like your term "aggregated index" even better than "local 
> index", thanks Peter. You're right that "local" can be confusing as
> as "local to WHAT".
> So that's my new choice of terminology with the highest chance of
> understood and least chance of being misconstrued: "broadcast search"

> vs. "aggregated index".
> As we've discovered in this thread, if you say "federated search" 
> without qualification, different people _will_ have different ideas
> what you're talking about, as apparently the phrase has been 
> historically used differently by different people/communities.
> I think "broadcast search" and "aggregated index" are specific enough

> that it would be harder for reasonable people to misconstrue -- and 
> don't (yet?) have a history of being used to refer to different
> by different people. So it's what I'm going to use.
> Jonathan
> Peter Noerr wrote:
>> >From one of the Federated Search vendor's perspective... 
>> It seems in the broader web world we in the library world have lost

> "metasearch". That has become the province of those systems (mamma,
> etc.) which search the big web search engines (G,Y,M, etc.) primarily
> shoppers and travelers (kayak, mobissimo, etc.) and so on. One of the

> original differences between these engines and the
library/information world 
> ones was that they presented results by Source - not combined. This
is still 
> evident in a fashion in the travel sites where you can start multiple
> sessions on the individual sites.
>> We use "Federated Search" for what we do in the library/information
> It equates directly to Jonathan's Broadcast Search which was the
> term I used when talking about it about 10 years ago. Broadcast is
> descriptive, and I prefer it, but it seems an uphill struggle to get
> accepted.
>> Fed Search has the problem of Ray's definition of Federated, to mean
> bunch of things brought together". It can be broadcast search (real
> searching of remote Sources and aggregation of a virtual result set),
> searching of a local (to the searcher) index which is composed of
> federated from multiple Sources at some previous time. We tend to use
> term "Aggregate Index" for this (and for the Summon-type index) Mixed
> is almost a given, so that is not an issue. And Federated Search
systems have 
> to undertake in real time the normalization and other tasks that
Summon will 
> be (presumably) putting into its aggregate index.
>> A problem in terminology we come across is the use of "local"
(notice my 
> careful caveat in its use above). It is used to mean local to the
> (as in the aggregate/meta index above), or it is used to mean local
to the 
> original documents (i.e. at the native Source).
>> I can't imagine this has done more than confirm that there is no
> terminology - which we sort of all knew. So we just do a lot of
explaining - 
> with pictures - to people.
>> Peter Noerr
>> Dr Peter Noerr
>> CTO, MuseGlobal, Inc.
>> +1 415 896 6873 (office)
>> +1 415 793 6547 (mobile)
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
Behalf Of
>>> Jonathan Rochkind
>>> Sent: Tuesday, April 21, 2009 08:59
>>> To: [log in to unmask] 
>>> Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] Serials Solutions Summon
>>> Ray Denenberg, Library of Congress wrote:
>>>> Leaving aside metasearch and broadcast search (terms invented
>>> recently)
>>>> it  is a shame if "federated" has really lost its distinction
>>>> from"distributed".  Historically, a federated database is one
>>>> integrates multiple (autonomous) databases so it is in effect a
>>> virtual
>>>> distributed database, though a single database.    I don't think
>>> that's a
>>>> hard concept and I don't think it is a trivial distinction.
>>> For at least 10 years vendors in the library market have been
>>> us
>>> products called "federated search" which are in fact
>>> distributed/broadcast search products.
>>> If you want to reclaim the term "federated" to mean a local index,
>>> think you have a losing battle in front of you.
>>> So I'm sticking with "broadcast search" and "local index". 
>>> you need to use terms invented more recently when the older terms
>>> been used ambiguously or contradictorily.  To me, understanding the
>>> different techniques and their differences is more important than
>>> terminology -- it's just important that the terminology be