SDLIP + STARTS = SDARTS. A Protocol and Toolkit for Metasearching

In this paper we describe how we combined SDLIP and STARTS, two complementary protocols for searching over distributed document collections.  The resulting protocol, which we call SDARTS, is simple yet expressible enough to enable building sophisticated metasearch engines.  SDARTS can be viewed as an instantiation of SDLIP with metasearchspecific elements from STARTS.  We also report on our experience building three SDARTS-compliant wrappers: for locally available plain-text document collections, for locally available XML document collections, and for external webaccessible collections.  These wrappers were developed to be easily customizable for new collections.  Our work was developed as part of Columbia University’s Digital Libraries Initiative-Phase 2 (DLI2) project, which involves the departments of Computer Science, Medical Informatics, and Electrical Engineering, the Columbia University libraries, and a large number of industrial partners.  The main goal of the project is to provide personalized access to a distributed patient-care digital library.