Martin Kersten, research fellow at the Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, received the Challenges & Visions Track best paper award during the 2011 International Conference on Very Large Data Bases (VLDB) in Seattle, WA, USA. VLDB is the leading international conference on database management. Kersten received this prize for the publication ‘The Researcher’s Guide to the Data Deluge: Querying a Scientific Database in just a Few Seconds’, co-authored with CWI colleagues Stefan Manegold, Stratos Idreos and Erietta Liarou.
The paper presents a visionary research agenda for interactive exploration of extremely large databases, especially in the area of scientific data management where ingestion of multiple Terabytes of data on a daily basis is foreseen. A major innovation is required to aid scientists in their data exploration journey, where hitherto prevalent assumptions of complete and correct results should be traded against instant response and insight into the database collection at hand.
Several research directions are carved out to realize this vision. They range from engineering a novel database kernel where speed rather than completeness is the first class citizen, up to refusing to process a costly query in the first place, but providing advice on how to reformulate it instead, or even providing alternatives the system believes might be relevant for the exploration patterns observed.
The work is part of the SciLens project in the CWI research group Database Architectures (INS1).
Picture: from left to right: Gerhard Weikum (Max-Planck-Institut für Informatik, Saarbrücken, Germany), VLDB 2011 Challenges and Vision Track Chair, and the CWI team: Martin Kersten, Stratos Idreos, Stefan Manegold and Erietta Liarou. Source: Holger Pirk (CWI).