Wide Area Information Servers

Wide Area Information Servers

(networking, information science)
(WAIS) A distributed information retrieval system. WAIS is supported by Apple Computer, Thinking Machines and Dow Jones. Clients are able to retrieve documents using keywords. The search returns a list of documents, ranked according to the frequency of occurrence of the keyword(s) used in the search. The client can retrieve text or multimedia documents stored on the server. WAIS offers simple natural language input, indexed searching for fast retrieval, and a "relevance feedback" mechanism which allows the results of initial searches to influence future searches. It uses the ANSI Z39.50 service. Public domain implementations are available.

Other information retrieval systems include archie, Gopher, Prospero, and World-Wide Web.

Usenet newsgroup: news:comp.infosystems.wais.

This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (foldoc.org)
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Cheney hails from the high tech industry, earning her marketing stripes in Silicon Valley for nearly a decade where she helped launch successful emerging technology companies like Alexa Internet, purchased by Amazon for $200 million, and Wide Area Information Servers (WAIS) Inc., which was acquired by America Online.
WAIS: Wide area information servers: The software to index large text files and search and retrieve documents based on that index.
WAIS: Wide Area Information Servers. See Addyman, T.
Though navigation aids like Gopher, Wide Area Information Servers, World Wide Web, and Archie offer some traveling guidance and searching tools, knowing what resources are available on the Internet and how to locate them remain formidable tasks.
Accessing information from the Internet's more than 1 million computers and five million users once meant working with several different menu-driven look-up tools (Gophers) or searching through a number of indexed databases using wide area information servers. That work now is simplified through the efforts of a small group of programmers at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), Champaign, IL.
Let us look at examples of both, beginning with a research project on wide area information servers (WAIS).

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