In a data communication network, a method and apparatus for determining routing in a diagnostic channel utilizes a search token which is passed through nodes of a memory model of the network. The memory model represents nodes as one (or a combination of) object models representing aggregation, deaggregation, mesh or translation operations. By referring to a relational database, selective searches are performed without need to flood the network with search tokens. The search results may be displayed graphically for easier understanding. The method also has general application to a relational database management system by allowing for display of the database relationships and interconnections in a graphical manner for easier interpretation by the user.