The Distributed Indexing/Searching Workshop will span two days. The first day's goal is to identify areas for potential standardization through several directed discussion sessions. The second day's goal is to filter the list of issues to identify those most like to lead to useful standards.
The format for sessions during the first day is as follows:
Although the sessions have been designed to bring out controversy, it is not necessary to determine a winner; different approaches may be reasonable over different time frames or circumstances. The goal of the breakout sessions is to identify the issues and to suggest directions for standards efforts.
The first day of the workshop will expose possible directions for standardization efforts in the area of distributed indexing and searching. We have selected three areas based on the position papers submitted.
The first session, distributed data collection, will address issues associated with the collection of data across the network. Is robots.txt adequate for future needs? What is the value of protocol- and programatic-based solutions?
The topic for the second session is data transfer format. Early deployments may create a dominant standard such as the Virtual Software Library. Format negotiation enables interoperable access to multiple standards.
The final session will examine the need for architectures that distribute search across several repositories. The most popular indexes today are constructed as centralized repositories in the mainframe model. More recently, meta-search engines have become more popular. Decentralized, topic-specific indexes take advantage of the restricted domain to add functionality. What is the role of repository access protocols like Z39.50 and other mesh-like models appearing on the Web? Is distributed searching a realistic paradigm for administratively decentralized resources?
The second day will begin with a brief summary by the workshop chairs. This summary will contain a coherent overview of the efforts from the first day. The first session will discuss and enumerate potential standards directions. During the second session participants will break into groups to formulate written statements for incorporation into the workshop report.