XLDB workshop in Rio de Janeiro


As announced at XLDB-2013 last September, we are organizing a satellite XLDB workshop in Rio de Janeiro/Brazil, June 3-4.

The meeting will focus primarily on topics related to scientific and industrial Big Data Management and Analytics from the perspective of South American communities, with goals to identify commonalities, potential longer term collaboration opportunities, and to better integrate South American communities into our ongoing XLDB efforts.

The event website: http://xldb-rio2014.linea.gov.br/

The organizing committee led by Luiz da Costa has been working on logistics and reaching out to the local communities in South America for some time, and we are now starting to assemble the list of invitees.

If you are interested in attending the Rio workshop, please contact us through the contact us form. (Space is limited so don’t delay!) It is a great opportunity to make connections, gather ideas from new communities, and share experiences (and visit Brazil!), so I am sure we will easily put together a strong group.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Best regards,
Jacek (on behalf of the XLDB-South America Organizing Committee)

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XLDB update, events

Dear All,

I wanted to give you a quick update on XLDB activities and events. (I realize we have been quiet for longer than usual, but trust me, a lot has been happening under the hood!)

1. Upcoming XLDB workshops
We are organizing two XLDB events:

  1. XLDB – Healthcare, Stony Brook Univ/New York, May 6-7
  2. XLDB – South America, Rio de Janeiro, June 3-4

While the Rio event was announced at XLDB-2013 back in September, most of you will not have heard of the Healthcare meeting. The idea came up at the XLDB Workshop in September and has been germinating since then. Both events are invitation-only, but we welcome expressions of interest from the XLDB community in attending either event. More details will be sent out soon.

2. XLDB main events – switching to spring season
As hinted at XLDB-2013, we would like to switch our annual main events from the fall to the spring for logistical reasons and to avoid conflicts. That means we will be skipping 2014, since organizing two large events 6 months apart would be too much. The next “main” event would then be scheduled for Spring 2015.

A year off also gives us some time to think or rethink…

3. Rethinking XLDB events
We are in the process of rethinking the long-term scope and organization of future XLDB events. While we don’t want to mess with success, two factors have triggered this process:

  • the changing landscape: a growing number of Big Data events, both specialized and general
  • decreased time available from the SLAC group due to our “day job”, the LSST project, which is rapidly approaching the construction phase.

Options we are currently considering include:

  1. partnering with other institution(s),
  2. making the event smaller but even more focused on our core niche, and
  3. joining forces with an existing event/activity.

I encourage everyone who has thoughts on the future direction of XLDB to contact me.

4. XLDB-2013 workshop report
Lastly, for these who are waiting for the XLDB-2013 workshop report: we have not forgotten, it is coming in March-April timeframe.

Best regards,

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XLDB-2013 registration is now open

Hi all,

The XLDB-2013 registration is now open. If you want to take advantage of discounted early registration prices, make sure you register before August 10. We’re currently in the process of reaching out to speakers, and I have strong reasons to believe this year event will be at least as interesting as XLDB-2012!

We published agenda for the tutorials, highlights of the main program, and made arrangements with local hotels, see http://xldb.org/2013 for further details. Full agenda of the main program is expected to be published in July.

As a reminder, we are accepting abstracts for lightning talks, posters and demos; submission deadline is July 15.

We are trying to reach out to people/groups dealing with large scale analysis of time series (for a discussion panel at the workshop). Please contact me if you have suggestions who we should bring to these discussions.

We are still looking for 2-3 sponsors, contact me if you are interested in sponsoring.

P.S. Last week we had the XLDB-Europe workshop at CERN, it went very well, many thanks to Dirk Duellmann and his local organizing team for putting it together! Slides are available at XLDB-Europe workshop timetable.

Best regards,
Jacek Becla
XLDB-2013 Organizing Committee Chair

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XLDB use cases

Hi All,

Prompted by many requests from the XLDB community to collect, publish and organize use cases related to managing and analyzing large data sets, and by a $100,000 gift from the Betty & Gordon Moore Foundation donated specifically to bootstrap the work on xldb use cases (big thank you!), we have put together a new, wiki-based system for use cases. You can access it through xldb.org, or by going directly to:


It’s been seeded with a few use cases we had collected in the past, and a few (still incomplete) use cases from our neighborhood. It is far from perfect, but it is a start. Now, the next (big) step is to try and capture all these valuable use cases that your company, your project and/or your clients have related to large scale data management and analytics, and therefore we are soliciting your in-kind contribution to document the use cases you know, to help us reach out to these who have interesting use cases, to help us curate and translate domain specific jargons into a common language, to assist others with entering their use cases, and to continue improving what we have. Inevitably, it is all going to take some non-negligible effort, especially in the initial phase. The contributions can range from as little as 10-15 minutes (one short use case), to as much as full time for a month, a year, … or longer! We have already started discussions with several companies that expressed interest in supporting this activity about ways to get help, but
of course the more help from a variety of places we get, the better!

If you plan to enter your use cases, don’t worry about making them immediately perfect and complete. It will be an iterative process, and we will do our best to guide you and to help you.

The need for collecting use cases keeps coming up at every XLDB workshop and every XLDB conference — it is the #1 need beyond organizing the XLDB events as far as we can tell. So, let’s make it happen!

Best regards,

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XLDB-2012 Workshop Report


Hi All,

We have finalized the report from the XLDB-2012 Workshop, please see: workshop report.

As in the past, it will be published in Data Science Journal.

Best regards,

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Hi All!

It is time to start planning XLDB-2013 – the 7th Extremely Large Databases Conference!

Dates & location
We fixed the dates and finally managed to officially reserve the venue, so mark your calendars! The event will take place on September 9-12, 2013, at the same location as last year: the Knight Management CenterStanford University, CA, USA.  Similarly to how we run the event last year, we are planning to have a tutorial day on  Monday (9/9)*, the main program on Tuesday & Wednesday (9/10-11), and the invitational workshop on Thursday (9/12).

Organizing committee
I have assembled the organizing committee, and will chair it as in the past. The members of the committee: Chaitanya Baru (SDSC), Stephen Brobst (Teradata), John Hax (Oracle), Alex Szalay (JHU), and Omer Trajman (WibiData). We have already started working on the agenda, and we hope to have a draft version in place by early May.

Call for tutorials, lightning talks & posters, and demonstrations
We are collecting proposals for tutorials, as well as abstracts for lightning talks / posters, and demonstrations (we promise to give more exposure to demos this year!). It is especially important to get a list of tutorials in place before the registration opens, so if you would like to propose a tutorial (or request one), get in touch with us soon. Lightning talk/poster abstracts deadline: mid-July, demonstration proposals deadline: beginning of July. Check out the conference website for details.

The registration will open in early May.

Further details, including information on how to submit an abstract or a proposal, information for potential sponsors etc can be found at the conference website at http://xldb.org/2013.

So, mark your calendar, stay tuned, register after 5/1, and come to Stanford in September!

Best regards,

* We will have a tutorial day as last year provided we manage to identify the right tutorials. We expect to know for sure and confirm before the registration opens (early May)

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Best lightning talks

Hi all,

We have the results from the best-lightning-talks survey: the top two speakers voted by the attendees are:

As announced at the XLDB-2012 conference, the top two speakers will get a longer speaking slot (most likely 30 or 45 min) at the XLDB-2013.

There were quite a few lightning talks that scored just below the top two. In fact, judging from the poll, the quality of almost all the talks was relatively uniform.

Congratulations to the winners, and we are looking forward to hearing your talks next year!


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ArrayQL page

For these interested in the array standard and algebra…

We created a permanent page for ArrayQL, see http://www.xldb.org/arrayql/.

We also created a mailing list which will be used for communication with the community about all ArrayQL related topics. This includes both the announcements from the core team, and the questions/comments from the community, if you are interested in following the development or interacting with the core team, asking questions etc, please subscribe (details on the arrayql webpage).

Lastly, if you would like to provide feedback regarding the draft standard and algebra announced at XLDB-2012, please try to do so in the next two weeks, we would like to finalize the first round of feedback by Oct 15, and incorporate received suggestions shortly after.


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XLDB-2012 highlights

Hi All,

For those who did not have a chance to attend the XLDB-2012 event, here are a few highlights.

The conference attracted over 300 attendees, and across all 3 events (tutorials, conference, workshop) we had 360+ unique registrants.

Based on the feedback we are receiving and our own impressions, the XLDB-2012 events went very well: the speakers and the discussion panels were great; everybody seemed to love the venue at Stanford and enjoyed the food.

The tutorials (new this year!) were very popular, and the “experimental” non-seated dinner was a success.

We made several announcements at the conference, including the ArrayQL working group, the XLDB  Consortium initiative, and the dates/location of the next XLDB-satellite workshop (CERN/Geneva, June 25-26 2013).

If you missed our event, you can check out the slides, available through the conference program. The videos from the conference will be available some time in October, … but honestly, nothing will replace being there and networking with the attendees. If you don’t believe me, ask those who came! 🙂

See you next year!
Jacek Becla
XLDB-2012 Organizing Committee Chair

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Announcing ArrayQL

At XLDB 2012 on Wednesday we announced that two major databases that support arrays as first-class objects (MonetDB SciQL and SciDB) have formed a working group in conjunction with XLDB.  This working group is proposing a common syntax (provisionally named “ArrayQL”) for manipulating arrays, including array creation and query.  In addition, we are working with a third major array-supporting implementation (Rasdaman) to propose an algebra for common array operations.

A common algebra and syntax are expected to benefit array users in the same way that the relational algebra and SQL benefit relational users.  The working group is requesting comments on the current documents (which are drafts and unpublished works-in-progress) and would welcome additional members who demonstrate serious interest in this area.  Comments may be posted here or sent to arraydb-l@slac.stanford.edu.

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