Research CWI leads to semantic database systems breakthrough

Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica has cooperated with OpenLink Software, to help apply advanced database methods developed at CWI in the Virtuoso database product of OpenLink.

The cooperation between CWI and OpenLink Software, was established in the European research project LOD2 (, that aims at strengthening the tools and technology for semantic data management. As a result of this cooperation, techniques pioneered at CWI like vector execution and column compression have now been included into the Virtuoso product by OpenLink, leading to breakthrough improvements in database performance.

Organizations like the government are increasingly building upon an open data environment in which data is shared, connected and re-used. Semantic data standards, such as RDF and RDFa, help to share and re-use data between different organizations. In the last years, its practical use is on a steady rise, as these standards are being adopted by leading search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo!.   These developments are delivering on the vision of Tim Berners Lee, to create a semantic web of interlinked data. Semantic data management is currently enjoying increasing commercial success in areas like government open data initiatives, digital publishing, healthcare, and bio-informatics.

CWI has completed benchmarking on its SCILENS compute-cluster with this new technology on the 50 and 150 billion triple Berlin Sparql Benchmark (BSBM), which marks a breakthrough 750x scalability improvement over any previous result. The new Virtuoso product release is expected to be announced later this week.

The research institute is inventor of the column-based analytical database technology which has resulted in its open source database system MonetDB and spin out VectorWise, and is a completely new approach on data processing.