CWI researcher Stefan Manegold has been awarded the 2020 SIGMOD Contributions Award. The award recognizes his innovative work in the data management community to encourage scientific reproducibility.
Manegold was one of the leading pioneers in encouraging reproducibility in data management. Reproducibility was introduced at the 2008 SIGMOD Conference and since then has influenced how the community approaches experimental evaluation. Manegold shares the award with fellow researchers Philippe Bonnet, Juliana Freire, Ioana Manolescu, Dennis Shasha, and former CWI researcher Stratos Idreos.
Awareness for experimental reproducibility
“I am honoured to be among the recipients of this award”, says Manegold. “All of us have spent lots of time and effort against many odds to create an awareness for experimental reproducibility of data management research results. Also, we made sure that nowadays there is at least some kind of recognition of (and appreciation for) the extra work that data management researchers do to make their results reproducible for others by sharing their code, data, and detailed instructions.”
Manegold reflects on the period when he and his colleagues started the reproducibility efforts, with the ACM SIGMOD conference in 2008. “Many colleagues complained that there was no need for a ‘police’, but we should rather trust each other”, says Manegold. “However, we knew we were on the right track. This feeling was strengthened because of the huge interest in our panel on Performance Evaluation and Experimental Assessment – Conscience or Curse of Database Research? at VLDB 2007, as well as our tutorial on ‘Performance Evaluation in Database Research: Principles and Experiences’ at ICDE 2008 and EDBT 2009.”
More than a decade later, things have changed in this respect, says Manegold. “This goes for computer science in general, and the data management community in particular. They realize now that being able to reproduce scientific results – which is common practice in many other scientific disciplines – is not about trust, or the lack thereof. Rather, it is an extra quality certificate for reproducible research. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to help shape the early years of this endeavour”, says Manegold.
Manegold is a senior researcher and head of the Database Architectures research group at CWI as well as professor for Data Management at Leiden University. Previously, Manegold has won the VLDB 2009 10-year Best Paper Award (with co-authors Peter Boncz and Martin Kersten) as well as the VLDB 2011 Challenges & Visions Track Best Paper Award (with co-authors Martin Kersten and others).
Multiple SIGMOD awards for CWI
Next to numerous other laurels, multiple SIGMOD awards have been bestowed on researchers of CWI’s Database Architectures group before. In 2018, Mark Raasveldt won SIGMOD’s Student Research Competition. CWI fellow Martin Kersten received the SIGMOD Systems Award in 2016 for the design and implementation of MonetDB. Earlier, in 2014, he was awarded the SIGMOD Edgar F. Codd Innovations Award, the most prestigious prize for researchers who have made innovative and significant contributions to database systems and databases. In 2011, Stratos Idreos won the ACM SIGMOD Jim Gray Doctoral Dissertation Award for his PhD thesis. Several other researchers from CWI’s Data Architectures group collectively won the SIGMOD Best Paper Award Runner-Up in 2009.