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37. PIS: Jaroslav Pokorny: Database Systems, Quo Vadis?

25 Oct 2018   16:00-18:00


Databases have been around for more than 50 years. Codd’s relational data model from 1970 decoupled the form of data from the physical storage of that data and introduced two important formal query languages: relational calculus and relational algebra. At that time, the research was focused on development of non-procedural query languages whose expressive power is closer to computational completeness. The SQL language has become an “intergalactic dataspeak” supporting objects, XML data, and even recursion. A lot of effort was devoted to the design of database schemas including integrity constraints ensuring database consistency. We developed new approaches to database modelling both at the conceptual and data levels based on a simple theory of types, and used typed lambda calculus for querying a functional database. This approach we used later in the world of data warehouses, XML databases, and others. Our research was also focused on implementation techniques, e.g., how to store and query XML data in a column-oriented storage.

The difficulties in scaling up SQL databases for online, web-scale processing have led to the creation of NoSQL systems in the 2000s. But key-value, column, document, and graph databases mostly do not use database schemas, integrity constraints, high-level query languages, and do not guarantee properties typical for transaction processing in traditional databases. Of course, this is unsuitable for many applications. The next decade offers a NewSQL databases - modern relational databases that seek to provide the same scalability as NoSQL, but guarantee the same transactional support as traditional DBMSs. We will show this diverse database world and some possibilities how to approach it within an integrated database architecture.


Jaroslav Pokorný is a professor of computer science at the MFF UK. His core research interests include database systems, data organization and processing, as well as XML technology and the WWW. In the 1980s he founded and taught courses on Database Systems, Data Organization and Processing, Information Retrieval, Query Languages, and co-founded an XML Technology course. He introduced and taught four database courses at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of the CTU in Prague in the years 1991 - 2013. In 1995, he created two other courses at the newly established Faculty of Informatics at MU in Brno. In recent years he taught advanced database courses at the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava and at VŠB-TU Ostrava. He was an editor of several books and proceedings and published more than 340 papers in conference proceedings, books and journals. He is author or co-author of 6 books. He was a visiting professor at the universities of Stuttgart, Karlsruhe, Rome, Reykjavík, later at the University of Wollongong and Griffith University. He works in the editorial boards of the journals Computing and Informatics, Journal of Systems Integration, Int. Journal of Web Inf. Systems, Journal of Advanced Engineering and Computation and in program committees of dozens of conferences. He acts as the representative of the Czech Republic in IFIP (International Federation for Information Processing). In recent years, his main interest has been the development of methods for modeling and querying graphical databases in a functional way. He also focuses on indexing patterns and integration of graph databases into heterogeneous database architectures.


The seminar will take place on the 4th Thursday of each month at 4:00pm (except June, July, August and December) alternately in the buildings of Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Czech Technical University, Karlovo nám. 13, Praha 2 and Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University, Malostranské nám. 25, Praha 1.

Its program will consist of a one-hour lecture followed by a discussion. The lecture should be based on an (internationally) exceptional or remarkable achievement of the lecturer, presented in a way which is comprehensible and interesting to a broad computer science community. The lectures will be in English.
The seminar framework was laid out by the preparatory committee consisting of Michal Chytil (Czech Academy of Sciences, Computer Science Institute), Pavel Kordík (Czech Tech. Univ., Faculty of Information Technologies), Jan Kybic (Czech Tech. Univ., Faculty of Electrical Engineering), Michal Pěchouček Czech Tech. Univ., Faculty of Electrical Engineering), Jiří Sgall (Charles University, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics), Vojtěch Svátek (University of Economics, Faculty of Informatics and Statistics), Michal Šorel (Czech Academy of Sciences,Institute of Information Theory and Automation), and Filip Železný (Czech Tech. Univ., Faculty of Electrical Engineering)

The idea to organize this seminar emerged in discussions of the representatives of several research institutes on how to avoid the undesired fragmentation of the Czech computer science community.

KN:E-107 (Zengerova posluchárna), FEL, budova E, Karlovo nám. 13, Praha 2
Přípravný výbor PIS
Contact person
Mgr. Helena Houšková, houskhel@fel.cvut.cz, 224 35 7667
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