Report on a Conference on Chinese Data Retrieval Held at The RAND Corporation, February 2-3, 1968.

by Thomas W. Robinson

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A report of a RAND conference on the application of computers to China studies. The discussions centered around four questions: (1) What sectors of the China studies can computers serve most advantageously? (2) What techniques can computer technology provide for immediate use? (3) Which projects could benefit by using the computer now? (4) How and by whom should the project be administered? It was concluded that present-level computer technology could be applied to several areas of China studies now. Attention was focused on information retrieval systems ranging from QUESTER to the Relational Data File. The Groner Chinese Character recognition and look-up program was also demonstrated. As a step toward daily indexing of all the information services and biographical files, a pilot program was agreed upon: two daily English translation series should be indexed by the QUESTER system using 400-500 categories to start. Keypunch, paper tape, and online input processes will be tried. Until a formal organization is established and funded, Rand will serve as the liaison center for the project. 45 pp. Ref.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

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