Unifying Semantics-Aware Querying

Event Speaker
Michael Benedikt
Professor, Computer science department, Oxford University
Event Type
Event Location
Milam 202
Event Description

Several distinct research areas related to data management and the web deal with answering an information need by making use of semantic information about the data. Examples include the Semantic Web, data integration, and semantics-based optimization modules for commercial database systems.

This talk describes work on creating a unified platform for answering queries that subsumes many of these cases. The vision is to support distributed datasources connected by integrity constraints, supporting a wide variety of access models,
cost models, data models, constraint languages, and query languages.

I'll outline both the progress and the challenges in building such platforms by discussing the PDQ (Proof-driven querying) system at Oxford. PDQ supports a rich language for constraints and queries, along with the ability to describe several kinds of interfaces for data access.  It can extend traditional cost-based optimization to the setting of constraints. It can also be used in the setting of "Open World Querying" that extends the data integration approach used in the semantic web. The talk will include a quick look at the system, a bit of the underlying theory, and some discussion of open issues.

This includes work with Gabor Gyorkei, Julien Leblay, and Efi Tsamoura.

Speaker Biography

Michael Benedikt is a professor at Oxford University's computer science department, a fellow of University College Oxford, and a faculty fellow at the Alan Turing Institute for Data Science and Artifical Intelligence. He came to Oxford after a decade in US industrial research laboratories, including a position as Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at Bell Laboratories. He has worked extensively in computational logic, verification, database systems and database theory, and has served as program chair of the two main database theory conferences, Principles of Database Systems and International Conference on Database Theory. The current focus of his research is data integration, with recent projects including
querying of the deep Web, querying and integration of annotated data, and querying of web services.