JANUS(ID:7016/jan004)

Interactive statstics system  


(presumably for its double nature, as statistical and data system)

Interactive statistical language from MIT, developed as part of the Cambridge Project Consistent System

Drew on nascent relational theory from Codd and from the experience of the interactive data analysis systems DATANAL and ADMINS


Related languages
ADMINS => JANUS   Influence
BMD => JANUS   Influence
DATANAL => JANUS   Experience with Influence
DATA-TEXT => JANUS   Experience with Influence
OSIRIS => JANUS   Influence

References:
  • Stamen, J. P. and Shuford, D. F. "Beginner's Manual for the Janus Prototype System". The Cambridge Project, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass. 1972 view details
  • Stamen, Jeffrey P. and Robert M. Wallace "Janus: A data management and analysis system for the behavioral sciences" pp273-282 view details Abstract: This paper describes the Janus data management and analysis system which has been designed at the Cambridge Project. A prototype of Janus is currently running on the Multics time-sharing system at M.I.T. The data model for the design of Janus is very general and should be usable as a model for data handling in general, as well as for Janus in particular. The Janus command language is an English-like language based on procedural functions - such as define, display, and delete - which act on logical objects from the data model, such as datasets, attributes and entities. For example, delete-attribute, define-attribute and define-dataset are all commands. The implementation of Janus is interesting for a number of reasons: it runs on the Multics system which has segmented and paged memory; it is based almost entirely on datasets (tables), which describe each other as well as themselves; and it is organized in a functionally modular way that is often talked about, but less often done. Extract: INTRODUCTION
    INTRODUCTION
    In the middle sixties there was a revolution in behavioral science computing brought about by the introduction of software systems, or 'packages', on second and third generation batch equipment (Most notably, BMD, SPSS, OSIRIS, DATA-TEXT). These systems offered the analyst a higher-level language designed specifically for the problems of behavioral science data handling and analysis, thus freeing him from the details of programming, data reformatting and using subroutine libraries.
    A short time later a number of data-management and analysis systems appeared on time-shared computers. (Most notably, ADMINS, DATANAL, TRACE, IMPRESS, TROLL) These systems seemed to hold further promise for the behavioral scientist wanting to analyze data. An analyst would now be able to interact with his data: to test hypotheses, explore for and formulate new hypotheses, test again and so on. In addition, because of immediate feedback on errors these interactive systems were expected to reduce the learning investment needed to be able to communicate with the computer. Unfortunately, to the broader behavioral science community, the promise of interactive systems is still just that a promise. A number of factors contributed to this situation, among which were: i) time-shared computers were not widely available; 2) the cost of using these interactive systems was high compared with the batch systems; 3) the interactive systems did not, in general, have the breadth of capabilities in both data handling and statistics as the batch systems; and, 4) analysis techniques that took advantage of the power of interactive computing were just beginning to be developed. Going into the middle seventies, we feel the situation is ripe for change. The Cambridge Project  is a joint effort by computer scientists, behavioral scientists, and statisticians from M.I.T. and Harvard to bring about the change.
    Janus is an attempt to provide a powerful interactive data handling and analysis tool for the behavioral scientist. Its design grew out of experience with two interactive systems, ADMINS Mark III and DATANAL, and one batch system, DATA-TEXT. In addition, Janus was influenced by systems and ideas from outside of the behavioral science tradition; for example, the relational data work of S. D. McIntosh and D. M. Griffel and that of E. F. Codd. Janus is one of the subsystems being developed for the Cambridge Project Consistent System (CS). The CS also contains other data analysis programs and subsystems, modeling programs, an urban-planning subsystem, an econometrics analysis subsystem and others.
          in [ACM] Proceedings of the 1972 Annual Conference of the ACM view details