BAROQUE (BROwse and QUEry) is a user interface that implements exploratory or browsing searches in a relational database. BAROQUE establishes a view of the relational database that resembles a semantic network and provides several functions for scanning it. The author's arguments for the need for browsing, and the design decisions made with respect to structure and function, are clearly and convincingly presented. Care is taken to state potential problems and limitations and to suggest enhancements to the prototype. The four functions implemented for browsing are classify (what is it?), describe (what is known about it?), associate (what is the connection between them?), and suggest (any others like it?). They apply to all aspects of the database, including the definition (schema) of the database, as well as the values of attributes. This paper is readable and interesting. It makes a worthwhile contribution to the enhancement of user access to data.
ACM Computing Reviews