CDISE Seminar: Manos Athanassoulis

Thursday, March 24, 2016

16:00 – 17:00pm in Room 407 (note temporary date & room change)
Manos Athanassoulis, Harvard University

Designing Access Methods: The RUM Conjecture

The database research community has been building methods to store, access, and update data for more than four decades. Throughout the evolution of the structures and techniques used to access data, access methods adapt to the ever changing hardware and workload requirements. Today, even small changes in the workload or the hardware lead to a redesign of access methods. The need for new designs has been increasing as data generation and workload diversification grow exponentially, and hardware advances introduce increased complexity. New workload requirements are introduced by the emergence of new applications, and data is managed by large systems composed of more and more complex and heterogeneous hardware. As a result, it is increasingly important to develop application-aware and hardware-aware access methods.

The fundamental challenges that every researcher, systems architect, or designer faces when designing a new access method are how to minimize, i) read times (R), ii) update cost (U), and iii) memory (or storage) overhead (M). In this talk, I will first introduce the conjecture that when optimizing the read-update-memory overheads, optimizing in any two areas negatively impacts the third. I will present a simple model of the RUM overheads, and articulate the RUM Conjecture. I will then discuss how the RUM Conjecture manifests in multiple access methods designs and I will present a road-map towards RUM-aware access methods with specific examples.