Data Network Language Design

Ms. Xiaoning Yan


"The effect of computer networks on our ability to access information cannot be overstated. Today, anyone with access to the Internet can quickly view or retrieve any files that any other Internet user has chosen to make available".*

When we use this access to do a search, we find that often the results of the search are not easily used to what we want because the data stored on the Internet are unstructured and inconsistent.

This situation might be improved by setting up a new class of public computer networks (Data Networks), where the computers query each other to get answers that people need. A new language, called Data Network Language (DNL), is developed in this thesis as a query language for a Data Network. The data that are stored in a DNL database are structured data, such as sets, relations or mathematical expressions.

In this thesis, the syntax and grammar rules of DNL are developed along with a set of constructors that will be used for retrieval of data stored in DNL database. A DNL lexical analyser and parser (generated by LEX and YACC in UNIX) are also developed. Some illustrative examples are provided.

* David L. Parnas, McMaster Software Engineering Group, McMaster Unviersity, Dept. of Computing and Software, Hamilton, ON, Canada.