Thinktank Research Agendas




Database Projects 


6th Generation IT

Education Projects



 Database Research Projects


A Model for distributed Object/Relational Data, Media, and Knowledge

    Systems and applications using relational data are built on a standard mathematical model - the relational algebra and calculus. Object support, now being added to relational systems, makes for new choices in how data is modeled, often in serious conflict with the prescriptions of the relational model. These inconsistencies and incompatibilities suggest a research study to prescribe a best  practice in how object extensions to relational databases should be employed and exploited. The extended model developed in this project will address these issues. 

3D 4GL (3 Dimensional Fourth Generation Language)

    Today, the modeling and representation of dynamic, interactive 3D data is supported by VRML, an open industry standard. A VRML scene graph is in essence a special purpose 3D database, with the VRML specification defining the database structure and possible content. As VRML 3D databases become persistent, integrated, and multi-user, the need will arise to conduct transactions against them as a matter of course. The proposed VRML EAI (External Authoring Interface) is a low-level API into the 3D data, not a high level, 4th generation language. 

    This project seeks a 3D analog to SQL with which to construct and execute 3D transactions. Since the object database community (ODMG) has converged on OQL (Object Query Language), which itself is likely to converge with SQL in the eventual SQL3, we will develop a high level, 4th generation 3D language as a sub-language of SQL3 that can both (i) execute transactions against a VRML database, and (ii) execute transactions incorporating interactive 3D data against SQL3 object and object/relational databases. General purpose Object and Object/Relational databases can then become the distributed repositories for interactive 3D data.

Relational Synthesis

    The conventional practice of normalizing relational data helps to insure data integrity and reduce redundancy but at a cost - the "atoms" of data that remain at the end of normalization must be re-assembled by application programs into data "molecules" that have meaning to the enterprise and to users. The Relational Synthesis Project seeks to define uniform methods to assemble normalized data atoms into molecules and larger application structures. Intelligent object/relational views will likely serve as the architecture to support the developed methods. 

Temporal Relational Data Modeling

    The value of data warehouses and repositories for data mining and decision support have been realized by the enterprise. Recently, the problems of maintaining a warehouse separate from the OLTP database have become common knowledge as well. Temporal Relational Data Modeling addresses this situation by prescribing a formalism to model enterprise data so that OLTP operations and data mining and decision support activities can share the same data and databases while meeting required performance metrics. This research project will produce a modeling formalism, compatible with relational theory, that supports a unified data environment. Recommendations will also be offered to exploit Object/Relational extensions for temporal modeling. 

By Linda Von Schweber
& Erick Von Schweber

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Updated January 22, 2002