The Virginia Tech telephone book expresses a relationship between the names of people and their phone numbers.

For example, we can find the record for "William Smith" and retrieve his phone number.

Search problem: The formal problem of using the person's name as an identifier of a record (known as the key) and retrieving the associated information.

As an alternate example, we can use the phone number as the key and find 231-0123 and retrieve the name (identifier) of the person (if any) with that phone number.


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Last Updated 01/05/2000
© L.Heath, 2000