SLAC XLDB/LSST Group is Expanding

Dear All,

I know many of you don’t have time to read long posts, so I’ll get to the point right away:

  1. Our group is hiring, and it is essential we find the best candidates; the better people we find the more resources and expertise we will have to devote to XLDB. So… if you care about XLDB, please help us find the right candidates. We’re looking for people who’d like to work on cutting-edge, ~100 petabytes data management system for state-of-the-art science. Job description can be found at:
  2. In addition, we would like to further expand our SLAC team and bring a part-time person dedicated to helping us with XLDB-related activities, and we already identified a promising candidate. Long-term, we’re hoping to support this position using funds from sponsors supporting our future conferences and related activities. That means we need to find enough sponsors (or a few generous-enough sponsors) willing to provide sufficient funds to make this all work. In practice, if we manage to raise ~$100K annually, this should work!

We’ve been quiet lately, but as you can see, we are getting ready to (a) construct the LSST database, and (b) organize the next XLDB event (in spring of 2015). We had a VERY successful XLDB-Healthcare workshop few weeks ago, and are excited to connect with the South America community in Rio as soon as next week!

As always, let me know if you have any questions.

Please forward this to whoever might be interested.

Best regards,

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XLDB-healthcare workshop

Dear All,

We are organizing a joint XLDB-Stony Brook workshop focused on exploring the applicability of XLDB technologies to healthcare, with an ambitious goal to “re-engineer” healthcare data management and analytics. In the tradition of past XLDB events, we are bringing together experts from multiple communities, including current XLDB users and XLDB technologists like you who are already part of the greater XLDB community, and healthcare domain experts who are eager to join. We expect to explore commonalities, share lessons learned, and ultimately, steer the healthcare community towards adapting our common Big Data practices and solutions.

The benefits for healthcare are obvious, but you may wonder “what is there for us?”. If we succeed, we will end up with a larger user base, which will translate to more resources (more funds to support “our” software, more people testing and improving it), ultimately strengthening solutions we use, reducing fragmentation of the Big Data analytics market, and growing the pool of available Big Data experts.

We have already managed to lined up several superb representatives from our community, and have been introduced to some relevant people. We still have space for a few more, so if you believe you could contribute, or if you know someone who would fit well into this event, please contact us through

The event website:

The event is organized right before the NSF semi-annual IUCRC (Industry University Cooperative Research Center) CDDA (Center for Dynamic Data Analytics) workshop,
which will allow for additional cross-pollination.

Best regards,
Jacek, on behalf of the XLDB-Healthcare Organizing Committee

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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:

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 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, 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

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

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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