Cloud Data Serving: Key-Value Stores to DBMSs
Raghu Ramakrishan (Yahoo! Research)

Raghu Ramakrishan (Yahoo! Research). Raghu Ramakrishnan is Chief Scientist for Audience and Cloud Computing at Yahoo!, and is a Research Fellow, heading the Web Information Management group. His work has influenced query optimization in commercial database systems and the design of window functions in SQL:1999. His paper on the Birch clustering algorithm received the SIGMOD 10-Year Test-of-Time award, and he has written the widely-used text "Database Management Systems" (with Johannes Gehrke). Ramakrishnan is a Fellow of the ACM and IEEE, and has received several awards, including the ACM SIGKDD Innovations Award, the ACM SIGMOD Contributions Award, a Distinguished Alumnus Award from IIT Madras, a Packard Foundation Fellowship in Science and Engineering, and an NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award. He is Chair of ACM SIGMOD, on the Board of Directors of ACM SIGKDD and the Board of Trustees of the VLDB Endowment. Ramakrishnan was Professor of Computer Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and founder and CTO of QUIQ, a company that pioneered question-answering communities, powering Ask Jeeves' AnswerPoint as well as customer-support for companies such as Compaq.

Abstract. Data-backed web applications have stringent availability, performance and partition tolerance requirements that are difficult, sometimes even impossible, to meet using conventional database management systems. On the other hand, they typically are able to trade off consistency to achieve their goals. This has led to the development of specialized key-value stores, which are now used widely in virtually every large-scale web service. On the other hand, most web services also require capabilities such as indexing provided by a DBMS. We are witnessing an evolution of data serving as systems builders seek to balance these trade-offs. In this talk, I will survey some of the solutions that have been developed, including Amazon's S3 and SimpleDB and Yahoo!'s PNUTS, and discuss the challenges in building such systems as "cloud services", providing elastic data serving capacity to developers, along with appropriately balanced consistency, availability, performance and partition tolerance.

Bringing Database Research to Computer Games and Simulations
Johannes Gehrke (Department of Computer Science, Cornell University)

Johannes Gehrke (Department of Computer Science, Cornell University). Johannes Gehrke is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Cornell University and he is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Tromsø in Norway. Johannes' research interests are in the areas of database systems and data mining; his current research focuses on computer games and on data privacy. With Raghu Ramakrishnan, he co-authored the undergraduate textbook Database Management Systems (McGrawHill, 2002), currently in its third edition. Johannes has received an National Science Foundation Career Award and an Arthur P. Sloan Fellowship, and he was program co-chair of the 2004 ACM International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD 2004) and program chair of the 33rd International Conference on Very Large Data Bases (VLDB 2007). From 2007 to 2008, he was Chief Scientist at FAST, A Microsoft Subsidiary, where he is still serving as technical advisor.

Abstract. The public has come to view database research primarily as the study of enterprise data management. The database community, however, has developed a wide set of concepts and techniques with applicability far beyond boring exam questions about departments and employees. In this talk, I will describe the journey of a database research group into computer games, discussing scalable AI for games, game programming design patterns, our game scripting language SGL (Scalable Games Language), and I will outline how ideas from database systems can result in significant performance improvements for games compared to existing approaches. I will also discuss role of database research in large-scale simulations and massively multiplayer online role-playing games.