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Planning for SIGMOD/PODS 2016: Upcoming dates and a review of SIGMOD 2015

October 15, 2015 | Posted by Microsoft Research Blog

Preparations for the 2016 ACM SIGMOD/PODS conference are already under way. SIGMOD is a leading international forum for database researchers, practitioners, developers, and users to explore cutting-edge ideas and results, and to exchange techniques, tools, and experiences.

Upcoming SIGMOD dates

Research paper second submission dates

  • November 12, 2015, 4:59 P.M. PST: Abstract submission
  • November 19, 2015, 4:59 P.M. PST: Paper submission

Demo paper submission dates

  • January 15, 2016, 11:59 P.M. PST: Paper submission
  • February 19, 2016, 11:59 P.M. PST: Notification
  • March 14, 2016, 11:59 P.M. PST: Camera-ready due

Industrial paper submission dates

  • December 1, 2015, 11:59 P.M. PST: Paper submission
  • February 2, 2016, 11:59 P.M. PST: Notification
  • March 15, 2016, 11:59 P.M. PST: Camera-ready due

Upcoming PODS Dates

Research paper second submission dates

  • November 27, 2015, 4:59 P.M. PST: Abstract submission
  • December 4, 2015, 4:59 P.M. PST: Paper submission
  • March 4, 2016, 4:59 P.M. PST: Notification of acceptance or rejection


SIGMOD 2015 Trip Report

The 2015 ACM International Conference on Management of Data (SIGMOD) was held from June 2-4, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. This year was the 41st edition of this conference and had about six hundred attendees from various parts of the world. The conference was preceded by a set of workshops that focused on various specialized sub-areas related to data management. The main conference had a number of plenary sessions that comprised two keynote address, the SIGMOD awards session, the new researchers’ symposium, SIGMOD business meeting, and the ACM-W Athena Award lecture.

The conference presented an interesting collection of talks, a packed program, and some stimulating hallway conversations. The conference featured more than a hundred research paper presentations spread over many parallel sessions, and every research paper that was orally presented at the conference also had a poster presented during lunch on the day the paper was presented.

There were also a number of industrial presentations, such as a streaming system from Twitter called Heron, a talk on Amazon’s relational data warehousing service Redshift, a workflow management system on Hadoop called Tez, and an execution framework on top of Apache YARN called REEF. In addition, there were multiple parallel sessions demonstrating various systems and research ideas. This trip report will focus on the plenary sessions at the conference which was spread over all three days.

Day 1

The first day of the conference started with a short introduction and welcome speech by the general chair, Prof. Timos Sellis. This was followed by the first keynote address, by Prof. Jignesh Patel from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The talk was entitled “From Data to Insights @ Bare Metal Speeds.” Prof. Patel highlighted the huge gap that exists between the processing power in today’s machines and the quest for knowledge we have from the data we collect. His claim was that simple parallelization by brute force is not enough, and we need to improve software efficiencies to bridge this gap. He then briefly discussed a project, called Quickstep, at UW-Madison where the goal is to design software optimized for the underlying hardware. He presented a few concrete optimizations and ended the talk with a call to arms on a number of foundational questions, such as computational and communication models to better understand algorithmic complexity on modern hardware architectures, the need for worst-case optimal and predictable execution strategies, and the holistic theory to exploit new workload characteristics and memory systems.

The first day also featured a panel that discussed the intersection of machine learning and database systems, and asked the question: What are the fundamental research challenges at the intersection of these two areas? Different prominent researchers presented their positions, which was followed with an open discussion and debate. In addition to pitching their individual research projects, one common line of thought that emerged is that in a data scientist persona, the bottleneck is not the machine learning algorithms or the data processing pipelines; rather, most of the time is spent on plumbing, discovering, cleaning, and transforming data. So the question is: How do we transform our algorithmic view of this space into the user-centric view and help the data scientists to quickly derive insights from the data?

The second plenary session of the first day featured the Athena award lecture by Prof. Jennifer Widom from Stanford University. Prof. Widom talked about her three favorite results, in particular focusing on research results that were interesting but did not receive any major awards, and in some cases were not even published in mainstream database research publication venues. She briefly described the results in chronological order, starting with the work on Data Guides, which tries to infer schema from semi-structured data, the work to develop a streaming SQL standard, and the Trio project that targets query processing on uncertain data.

Day 2

The second day featured the second keynote address, by Dr. Laura Haas from IBM Research. Dr. Haas’ talk was entitled “The Power Behind the Throne: Information Integration in the Age of Data-Driven Discovery.” She outlined the challenges we face in today’s world in which large amounts of data are collected from diverse sources. The challenge is in inferring rich models to explain the data and inferring knowledge. While considering a specific problem targeting the healthcare domain, Dr. Haas discussed the concept of a managed data reservoir, called the Center of Data Excellence (CDE). She also outlined some major research challenges, such as semi-automatic discovery of schematic and semantic metadata, finding data appropriate for a given task, and enrichment services that produce new data and metadata.

The second plenary session of the day was the new researchers’ symposium, which is intended as a general information/mentoring session for graduate students and early career researchers. This session is a permanent fixture with every SIGMOD and is typically organized as a panel where different researchers/professors share their experiences on a specific theme. This year’s theme was the role of failures in research, and coping with such failures. The second day of the conference ended with the conference banquet held at the Melbourne town hall.

Day 3

The third day started with the awards session, which was comprised of talks by recipients of various prestigious awards conferred by ACM SIGMOD. Following were the awards, in no particular order. The SIGMOD Jim Gray Doctoral Dissertation Award recognizes excellent research by doctoral candidates in the database field. This year’s award went to Dr. Alexander Thomson for his dissertation on determinism in transaction execution. The SIGMOD Edward F. Codd recognizes an individual for his/her work that has had significant influence on database research. This year, Dr. Laura Haas from IBM Research received the award for her “pioneering innovations in the integration of multiple, heterogeneous data sources.” The SIGMOD Systems award recognized Dr. Michael Stonebraker (who is also the recipient of the 2014 ACM Turing Award) and Lawrence A. Rowe for their work in “the design and implementation of modern, object-relational database systems embodied by the Postgres DBMS.” Postgres is an open-source RDBMS, which immensely contributed to the understanding and advances made to relational database technologies, both academic as well as commercial. The SIGMOD Contributions award recognizes an individual for his/her service toward database research and teaching. Prof. Curtis Dyreson received this year’s award for the “extensive and outstanding service to the database community as ACM TODS and ACM SIGMOD Information Director and ACM SIGMOD Anthology and DiSC editor.” The SIGMOD Test-of-Time award recognizes a paper published in the SIGMOD conference ten years ago that had significant impact on research such as the number of citations, starting a new active field of research, or commercial success as a product. This year’s award recipients were Professors Lei Chen, M. Tamer Ozsu, and Vincent Oria for their paper entitled “Robust and Fast Similarity Search for Moving Object Trajectories,” published in SIGMOD 2005.


Sudipto_Das_Portrait_SmallSUDIPTO DAS is a Researcher in the Data Management, Mining, and Exploration (DMX) group at Microsoft Research (MSR). He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB). His research interests are in the broad area of scalable, distributed, and multi-tenant DBMSs for cloud platforms. His dissertation work was in the area of building scalable and elastic transactional data stores, for which he received the 2013 ACM SIGMOD Jim Gray Doctoral Dissertation Award and UCSB’s 2012 Lancaster Dissertation award. Dr. Das is also the recipient of the CIDR 2011 Best Paper Award and MDM 2011 Best Runner-up Paper Award.

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