Computing Community Consortium Blog

The goal of the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) is to catalyze the computing research community to debate longer range, more audacious research challenges; to build consensus around research visions; to evolve the most promising visions toward clearly defined initiatives; and to work with the funding organizations to move challenges and visions toward funding initiatives. The purpose of this blog is to provide a more immediate, online mechanism for dissemination of visioning concepts and community discussion/debate about them.


Standing-Room Only at a VLDB Challenges & Visions Session

September 13th, 2011 / in conference reports, research horizons / by Erwin Gianchandani

37th International Conference on Very Large Data Bases (VLDB 2011) [image courtesy http://vldb.org/].Attendees of the 37th International Conference on Very Large Databases (VLDB 2011) — a premier annual international forum for data management and database researchers, vendors, practitioners, application developers, and users — stretched into the hallway outside the meeting room during the first of two Challenges and Visions sessions held in Seattle, WA, in late August. According to Hank Korth, CCC Council member and liaison to the VLDB program committee, “The talks were fantastic [and the follow-on] questions [were] great.”

In keeping with tradition for these CCC-funded sessions, the VLDB Challenges and Visions Track emphasized visionary ideas, long-term challenges, and opportunities in data-centric research outside of the current mainstream topics of the field. Of 41 submissions, 10 were chosen for presentation based on the extent to which they expanded the possibilities and horizons of the field. Following the presentations, three were further selected to receive first-, second-, and third-place prizes — to include CCC travel awards totaling $1,000, $750, and $500, respectively (see the winners after the jump):

  1. The Researcher’s Guide to the Data Deluge: Querying a Scientific Database in Just a Few Seconds, by Martin Kersten (Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, CWI), Stratos Idreos (CWI), Stefan Manegold (CWI), & Erietta Liarou (CWI)
  2. Data Markets in the Cloud: An Opportunity for the Database Community, by Magdalena Balazinska (University of Washington, UW), Bill Howe (UW), & Dan Suciu (UW)
  3. Data is Dead… Without What-if Models, by Peter Haas (IBM Research-Almaden), Paul Maglio (IBM Research-Almaden), Patricia Selinger (IBM Research-Almaden), & Wang-Chiew Tan (IBM Research-Almaden & University of California-Santa Clara)

Click on the links above to see the winners’ slide decks, and view all 10 presentations here.

In addition to the talks, organizers reserved 15 minutes at the end of the second Challenges and Visions session for a Q&A with the presenters. The presenters returned to the stage and were asked questions such as “with whom would you work outside your field?” and “what are the Ph.D. dissertations here?”. Importantly, instead of a panel format in which the presenters took turns answering questions, they were allowed to comment upon each others’ replies, interrupt one another, etc. — yielding a friendly but impassioned debate. “The energy was fantastic,” Korth reported.

Comments from attendees were extremely positive (and unsolicited!), and many asked about repeating the Challenges and Visions Track at future conferences.

Many thanks to the VLDB community, and particularly to Gerhard Weikum, the chair of the Challenges and Visions Track.

And a reminder: if you are organizing a conference or workshop in the coming months and would like to run a Challenges and Visions Track at your event, please contact us today!

(Contributed by Erwin Gianchandani, CCC Director)

Standing-Room Only at a VLDB Challenges & Visions Session