Introduces the many and powerful data structures for representing information physically (in contrast to a database management system that represents information with logical structures). Covers specialized data structures, and explains how to choose the appropriate algorithm or data structure for the job at hand. The four sections treat primary file organizations, bit level and related structures, tree structures, and file sorting. Opening chapters cover sequential file organization, direct file organization, indexed sequential file organization, bits of information, secondary key retrieval, and bits and hashing. Following chapters cover binary tree structures, B-trees and derivatives, hashing techniques for expandable files, other tree structures, more on secondary key retrieval, sorting, and applying file structures. Contains pseudocode, or an outline in English, for most algorithms. Includes end-of-section questions, with answers to some. Extensively illustrated.
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File Organization and Processing presents theories of storing information on persistent media, such as tapes and disks. It covers issues such as how a read-write head actually moves around the surface of a platter and how search algorithms (in general) can be optimized to find requested information quickly. This book is appropriate if you're designing your own operating system, but you should look elsewhere for more concrete file system information.
The beginning of the guide covers file organization and compares and contrasts sequential, direct, and indexed sequential approaches. Author Alan Tharp highlights each system's means of storing, locating, and checking information. Then the author moves on to describe data at the bit level--the actual ones and zeroes that are encoded on a piece of media to represent data. Tharp also discusses superimposed coding, a sort of efficiency routine that conserves disk space.
Tharp features a multitude of information about trees, exploring binary trees, b-trees, hashing, tree hashing, and PATRICIA trees for the benefit of his readers. Then he gets into sorting at the file-system level, explaining all the usual sorts, plus algorithms that are unique to persistent storage media. He wraps up with some exercises that illustrate his ideas.
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