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Federated or cached searches: providing expected performance from multiple invasive species databases

June 1, 2011

Invasive species are a universal global problem, but the information to identify them, manage them, and prevent invasions is stored around the globe in a variety of formats. The Global Invasive Species Information Network is a consortium of organizations working toward providing seamless access to these disparate databases via the Internet. A distributed network of databases can be created using the Internet and a standard web service protocol. There are two options to provide this integration. First, federated searches are being proposed to allow users to search “deep” web documents such as databases for invasive species. A second method is to create a cache of data from the databases for searching. We compare these two methods, and show that federated searches will not provide the performance and flexibility required from users and a central cache of the datum are required to improve performance.