The Garlic Project
The Garlic Project


Garlic is a project being developed by members of the database group in Computer Science. The goal of Garlic is to enable large-scale multimedia information systems: large scale in that they involve lots of data with multimedia taken as broadly as possible to mean data of many types. We are particularly concerned about situations in which there is enough data of sufficiently specialized types that users have already made decisions about how to manage it, and have stored it in separate repositories that are specifically adapted to data of that type.

Foil A

The Need:

The bulk of the data in the world is not stored in database management systems. There are many specialized systems emerging to store and search for particular data types, including image management systems, etc. However, many applications can benefit from combining information from these various systems.

Foil B

In Medicine:

For example, in the medical field, hospitals often have separate information systems for each department. Radiology may store MRI scans, etc., in one system, Cardiology may store EKG's in another, the Lab may store lab reports in a document management system, and Administration may store its records in a relational DBMS. Doctors, however, need access to all of this information when treating a patient. Today, hard copies are made and collected in a folder, leading to delays and inconsistencies. In the future, hospitals would like to be able to store patient folders on-line, enabling doctors to search within and across folders (`find all folders where the patient has symptoms similar to this one'). However, they are unlikely to move all the data to a new, centralized system, or in fact, to any new system that disrupts their existing applications or threatens the autonomy of the various departments.

Foil C

In Kitchen Design:

Consider the interior designer of the future. He will need information on wallpapers, cabinets, appliances, floor tiles, etc., as well as information on his previous designs and a collection of powerful modeling tools. These different collections of information are likely to be owned by separate establishments, which will want to make independent decisions on what software and hardware to use to store them. Yet there are financial advantages to all concerned if they can share this data.

Foil D

In Business: The Ad Agency Example:


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