IEEE Milestone: Dialog Online Search System


Milestone: Dialog Online Search System

Dedication Date: May 23, 2019

The Dialog Online Search System was built using pioneering technology in order to provide interactive online access to collections of data. It first accomplished this in 1966 in coordination with NASA Ames Research Center. Importantly, search results could be iteratively refined – a technique important in present-day internet searches.

Dialog is in use to this day as a subscription service, and it provides access to a wealth of scholarly information unavailable on the Internet. It preceded Internet search by well over two decades.

With its importance acknowledged by an IEEE Milestone, Dialog is now in the same league as the transistor and the integrated circuit. IEEE is an international organization with over 420,000 members which has previously recognized nearly 200 other technology accomplishments in this way.

This event will include a reception with drinks and hors d’oeuvres from 6 to 7PM. It will continue with a program from 7 to 8:45PM with interviews led by IEEE Region 6 History Chair and Milestone Coordinator Brian Berg.


“Dialog was the first interactive, online search system addressing large databases while allowing iterative refinement of results. DIALOG was developed at Lockheed Palo Alto Research Laboratory in 1966, extended through contracts with NASA, and offered commercially in 1972. Its speed, ease of use, and wide range of data content attracted professional users worldwide including scientists, attorneys, educators and librarians. DIALOG preceded major Internet search tools by more than two decades.”

Program participants will include Dr. Roger Summit and others who were instrumental in the creation of the DIALOG Search System, along with IEEE Region 6 Director Keith Moore. Extensive DIALOG background information is included in the Milestone proposal.


About the speaker, Dr. Roger Summit
Dr. Roger K. Summit conducted pioneering work at the Lockheed Corp. beginning in 1962 that led to the creation of DIALOG, the first-of-its-kind online information retrieval system. He is the founder and Chairman Emeritus of DIALOG, and is an expert in information systems design. Roger has held executive positions at DIALOG, and has served on national and international advisory boards and in numerous professional associations. He has published over 100 papers and journal articles based on his online information services experience, and has received numerous honors in recognition of his groundbreaking work in information retrieval.
Lockheed Martin Space: Advanced Technology Center
3251 Hanover St, Palo Alto, CA 94304


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