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Home: CS395T The Semantic Web, Ontologies and Cloud Databases

       SPRING ‘11

Prof. Daniel P. Miranker
   Mondays 3:30 – 6:30

The evolution of computing as a utility provided by a distributed network of computers brings with it new problems and opportunities in data management and data integration. This topics course will cover two contrasting developments. Cloud Databases (attribute/value stores), are nascent commercial services created and offered by some of the most famous companies. These systems provide low-level interfaces. The Semantic Web is a  collection of technologies ratified by the W3C that includes, in principle, the association of metadata encoded as an ontology with each and every web site. The promise is that that will enable high-level interfaces that prove to be the basis for much improved document search, and automatic integration of distributed data. Although aspects of the Semantic Web are now gaining commercial traction, the larger promise is still largely the province of research projects. Curiously, these developments are intersecting in a movement called NOSQL, “a database movement which began in early to mid 2009 and which promotes non-relational data stores that do not need a fixed schema”, and hence are both harbingers of a new era of databases beginning from a fresh start (i.e. no SQL).


Professor Miranker will present a small number of formal introductory lectures on the basic technologies, and core database management background. Subsequently students will present papers in round-robin fashion. This will comprise one or two presentations depending on the size of the class. The remainder of this web site contains readings and presentations from last year's class and will serve as the starting point for this year's class.  Grading will be based on presentations, class participation and a term project. A list of term projects is available upon request (Miranker@cs). The list is not posted publicly as these areas are new and moving quickly, and a number of projects on the list are novel ideas that could easily lead to publication. Students may also organize their own projects and are encouraged to nominate papers.