Database search

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by jpanhalt, Sep 4, 2008.

  1. jpanhalt

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    Jan 18, 2008
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    Is there a way to search electronic databases by circuit fragments?

    In other words, consider a partial circuit, such as:

    View attachment 4355



    Can one code the components and nets in such a way as to allow searching for the way they are connected, not just the components themselves or one's best guess at the function?

    John
     
  2. jpanhalt

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    Sorry, spellcheck didn't pick up the error in the title. John
     
  3. kubeek

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    Sep 20, 2005
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    If I udnerstand what you mean, you have some piece of circuit, and want to search for circuits using this connection in a database.

    Then it depends on the type of the database, but if it were a database of netlists, then it shouldn´t be too hard to search through them.
    But that is only for discrete circuits, there can be problems with TTL vs CMOS gates, quad vs double op-amps, when the netlist contains some op-amp in a "black box", but which is not recognized as opamp by the name, etc.
     
  4. beenthere

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    Do you know of any such databases?
     
  5. jpanhalt

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    @kubeek,

    I think you have the general idea of my question. Assume there are no mystery components. The question is basically, where are such databases? In chemistry, for example, one can go to Chemical Abstracts and search on atomic arrangements and bonding, such as >C=N-O-X, without having to name the partial structure.

    John
     
  6. Dave

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    Nov 17, 2003
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    John, I have corrected the thread title.

    As for your question, I am not aware of anything that does what you suggest. If I'm not mistaken (and you know how clueless I am with chemistry!) Chemical Abstracts has a pre-existing character system, i.e. letters and the bonding symbols -, = etc, from which the database can index the components and functions. One would need to create a character system for electronic components that could be indexed by the database and would describe component attributes such as function, connectivity, etc. From there it probably would be pretty straight-forward.

    It is probably a good CS project.

    Dave
     
  7. kubeek

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    I think the bigger problem than searching in the database is acutally creating it. You would have to involve many people to go through internet, gather schematics and then type them in. Even some OCR scanning program would still need some operator to check if it is right, and often select the apropriate component.
     
  8. jpanhalt

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    Now we know what to the tell the next person seeking a "final year" project. :D

    You are right, chemistry indexing began in the 1800's (Beilstein and others).

    My thought was that with circuit simulators being reasonably advanced, schematics are no longer just pictures. The circuit elements used in simulations could be the basis for a search engine.

    Thanks for fixing the typo.

    John
     
  9. Dave

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    Nov 17, 2003
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    That is kind of what I was gesturing towards, kubeek, but you articulated it better than I did.

    Hehe, it passed through my mind when I wrote that! :D

    Maturity will certainly be a factor. A friend of mine, who is a chemist, is working on a database for analysis of toxicity - although I don't know (or even understand) the details, he will surely benefit from the existing systems to which you refer.

    I understand you point about the advanced nature of many circuit simulators and synthesis packages, so I would assume that it is a plausible idea. That said, I have seen some wacky circuit syntheses from these packages over the years!

    No problem, next time feel free to drop one of the mods a PM to correct it.

    Dave
     
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