A Practical Approach to Selecting Record Access Paths

D. G. Severance, John V Carlis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The physical organization of reformation within a database has a major influence on the cost and performance of a computerized mformatmn system. The most efficient organization for a specific problem depends on the volume and intrinsm structure of stored mformatmn, the frequency and extent of updates, the formats and frequency of retrievals, and hardware accessing characteristms. Since these factors affect design performance m complex, subtle ways, an analyst faced with selecting a database design may well feel overwhelmed by the multitude of choices. This paper offers the practitioner a strmghtforward comparison of tradltmnal record-accessing structures. For the important class of apphcatmns lnvolwng a single record type, this article identifies the three most critical problem characteristms; it structures the essential macro-level design decisions; and it offers a procedure for choosing a reasonable data organization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-272
Number of pages14
JournalACM Computing Surveys (CSUR)
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1977


  • database demgn
  • file structures
  • record access path
  • record accessing
  • record searching


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